Reflections on money, credit cards and debt

I read a slew of blogs regularly. And lots of them are all about living simply.  I certainly love the idea and am striving to live as simply as is reasonable and comfortable. Many of these blogs will discuss financial arrangements and getting out of debt. Often times they tend to view all debt as bad.

I not a economist or such. At best, I’m an educator. As such, please don’t take my rambles as anything more than mere rambles.

I don’t see all debt as bad debt. Yes, we should strive to pay our debts as we agreed to, just as our ‘yes’ should be ‘yes’ and ‘no’ be ‘no’. If I can’t afford or I’m just not able to do as I agreed to do, I shouldn’t do it. That said, we do carry a mortgage on our house and we use credit cards.

There is danger that many talk about in credit cards. Its easy to view what you money you spend on a credit card isn’t actually your money, or that its ‘free’ money. The interest rates are crazy high, but its a high risk loan so that makes sense. And for someone who has struggled to control their credit card spending, it is a wise thing to just refrain from using them. If using cash is what is needed for you to keep track of what you are spending, then use cash.

But it is possible to use credit cards and know, understand, comprehend that it is still your money that you are spending. I know this, because I do this. When I swipe that credit card, I feel the money coming out of my pocket. And I don’t just spend, because I know that every penny on that card is a penny out of my pocket.

We earn a little bit each month by the ‘rewards’ that come with particular cards. We never have a card has an annual fee and we pay the card completely off every month — we never carry a balance. We are strategic about which card is used, and we won’t just apply for another one. There has got to be a good reason do go for that card.

I’ve not always been able to do this with credit cards. There has been times when I’ve carried a balance (bad wifey!). With Hubby to help keep me accountable, I’ve not done it since we were engaged and married. And I hope to never do it again, because its bad money sense, violates my sense of simplicity and violates the basic tenants of tightwaddery (I should do a post on those).

So, you’ve heard my ramble. Hopefully, it gets you thinking a bit more.


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