Thursday, April 21, 2011

Credit Cards

Well folks, I finally gave in. Joe got a credit card this week. We're 27 years old. And we need to build our credit up. And Joe thinks this was the best idea ever. Since I was able to walk, my mother has told me how awful credit cards can be. People get in over their heads. Interest is outrageous. Why on Earth would a person need a line of credit? If you want something, save up for it and then buy it. And for my 27 years on this Earth, this is what I have done. And it's worked out pretty well for me. Until we wanted to by a new car. I had a job. Joe was a SGT in the U.S. Army. And we couldn't get a loan on a 2006 Honda Accord for less that 18% interest. My parents offered to co-sign with us and all was okay. Except that my *always independent* husband felt bad having to depend on someone else to co-sign.

So now looking at our future, getting ready to ETS and move home and buy a house, he's obsessed with our credit scores. And he applied for a credit card.

I told him it was his job to keep up with it. We would NEVER not pay the monthly amount so there's no interest to pay ever. And we would only use it for gas and groceries.

So we went to the grocery store the other day and when Joe got ready to pay.... he pulled out the debit card. Debt isn't something either of us want. We just paid off the car! And I have no idea why Joe thinks this is the best way to build credit. We decided the credit card would be only for gas. So I used it this morning. I was the first to do so. And Joe said he would go online and pay it off as soon as it hit the account.

I was talking to a co-worker today and she told me that they had a credit card for emergencies. Another told me that she and her husband put everything on it and then just pay on the bill at the end of the month. Another friend told me she only puts school related items on it, like tuition and books. I must say, given the recent government shutdown scare, it's nice to think we have a small back up plan now. Nothing beats our savings, but we really don't want to have to tap into that if all hell breaks loose.

Do you have a method to your credit card? What have you found works best for you and your family?


Sespi said...

We have 4 (3 were individual cards pre-marriage) and don't carry balances on any. Only one is used on a regular basis, but we use that card for everything and we auto charge all our bills to it. We just pay it off in full twice a month. The rewards are awesome - we get $25-$40 cash back once a month or so. And though we've never been in that position, I agree that it's nice to know that if we're tight on money and an emergency comes up, we have credit available to us.

It's a Dog Tag Wife Life said...

I actually use my credit card for everything. For the longest time, I would only use my debit card, but I needed to build my credit score up. My dad told me to take it slow and work on using it once a week. Now I really use it for everything. I get paid weekly, and I pay it off every week. I never spend more than I make (unless it's an emergency like the car dying) and I get rewards. Today I got a $100 check because I had enough points. I also don't remember the last time I paid interested. I know what it's like since until I was about 24, a debit card was all I used. But I've seen it where people get in way over their heads. But I think those are the people that were never responsible with their money to begin with.

Mike said...

Credit cards are best used under an emergency!
Not all of us are sincere enough to create a budget for our daily needs and stick to it. At times, we get carried away and that is reason enough to lay tough challenges ahead of us. In no time, we may find ourselves under a debt if we don't use our cards responsibly. Once we have a debt to pay, we start wondering how to approach it. Today, we have a lot of debt relief options to choose from, but it leads us through a lot of hassles.

At best we may pick a credit card consolidation program after we go through a free counseling. Credit card consolidation resolves credit card debt faster than other debt relief options.

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