Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Credit cards ......


Well credit cards are things we could talk about forever and a day, but I just want to mention a few things about them, as I see it.

I have been very heavily dependant on credit cards in the past.  Not through choice, but of necessity.
If you are on very limited means, with no extra money coming in then credit cards are a Godsend.
They can also be the root of all evil, it depends entirely on you and how you use them.

I used mine for everyday stuff such as 'eating' and helping to pay bills etc., never for a World Cruise, Sports Car or Diamond Tiara !

The interest rates are astronomical that's true enough, but if you have no money, no extra income streams or pensions and no one to ask for help but you have a credit card - what would you do ?

Mine are mostly all paid off now, most have been cut up, as advised by almost all financial guru's, but I have to disagree with this in part.
A credit card is a financial cushion, instant help when you need it, a reassuring piece of plastic that means you will never go hungry again, neither will animals or dependants, it's instant help with bills and unexpected emergencies.  Therefore I say, 'don't' cut up all your credit cards ..........

Keep those all important financial cushions.  Just don't be silly with them, but also don't leave them dormant either.  I once paid off a credit card with great pride, then went and did a 'big' shop to stock up the cupboards only to have it refused (OMG embarrassing or wot?) the reason was - because I hadn't used it for some time, the company had closed the account transferring it to 'repayment only' until it was paid off.  They obviously weren't making any money out of me.  They hadn't done me the courtesy of telling me what they had done though !

So in order to keep my two active, once a month I top up the car with petrol, and once a month top up with cat food, this keeps the cards active and healthy, and of course that 'cushion' is always there should I need it, which enables me to sleep at night. (The balances are paid off monthly by the way)

So what are your views on credit cards, evil or lifesaver ?  bear in mind, your opinions will be different to mine if you have extra income, or just enough to live on ! extra pensions etc.,

take care peeps ..............


  1. We fall into the second camp of just enough to live on. I have a credit card which is used for online purchases, such as my annual prepayment prescription certificate,car and house insurance,my daughter's concert ticket purchases( which she then gives me the cash for). These balances are then paid in full. I was lucky as I had a student account with an interest free overdraft that I could use when I recently needed expensive dental work( 3 teeth broke in a couple of weeks. The way I bite because of their alignment has weakened them over the years). That facility has now gone so if it happened again I could either use the credit card or be charged interest on an overdraft.As you say they are a cushion in case of emergencies.

  2. I completely agree, they are good to have if handled properly, if paid off as quickly as possible plus keep your credit rating up. The second our younger adult children got their first car we encouraged them to get a credit card in case of dire financial emergency like a large repair bill. They were also taught to try and pay them off asap so little to no interest is charged.

  3. I had a lots of fun with credit cards,for years.
    I did not use them for emergency but to live and have a lots of
    good life,going out,to me it was handling properly.
    Two years ago,I had to stop spending.Iwoke up one day and said to my self NO MORE.
    I paid neraly $48.000 so far.Only maybe $9.000 left that will go soon.
    I work for my self and credit cards was a great help.

    I do not use them any more.I do not have regrets that I spend like there is no tomorow.
    Such is a life.

  4. Scarlet - a good idea to keep one just for online purchases.
    Cheapchick - I forgot about keeping the credit rating up - they're essential for that aren't they ?
    Wimmera - Hi and thanks for your comment, you've done really well paying off that large amount, you're right to have no regrets, we all have to move forwards not look backwards !

  5. My credit cards are good.
    Firstly, I have cashback credit cards. I use these to pay for everything I need food, petrol, things for the kids. I pay them off in full every month (so I need to have a strict budget). Every year a get my cashback. The first one comes just before Christmas (yippee) and the second in February (just when I'm thinking about holidays.

    Secondly I have one 0% credit card on the go at a time. The one have at the moment is 0% for 9 months. Which means if something breaks down, or I have an unexpected crisis, I can use this card and spread the cost. Of course it would be better to have savings for these things, but lifes just not like that for everyone. Maybe one day.

    Thirdly I like to use credit cards for ordering anything on line as there is an element of safety. We have had to claim money back in the past and its been such a relief.

    People who are compulsive with their shopping habits or are disorganised with their finances should really stay away from credit cards and deal with cash.


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