Credit cards are a way of life for lots of people. In fact they have become so ingrained in our lives that we can't imagine what it would be like to have no access to them. In fact, many people automatically start assuming that they need to own a credit card without really thinking about whether this is a good idea or not.
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But there are people who are taking a stand and who believe that credit cards don't have to be a way of life. With proper thought and a decent budget, it is possible to live on a cash only basis. However it is vital to think ahead if this is going to be possible. Here are some tips on how to do achieve this goal:
1. Save enough for emergencies. People who do not have a credit card need to have some other way of coping with emergencies when they come up. For instance they'll have to have an emergency fund set up in order to pay for car repairs or home maintenance. If the freezer breaks down, they have to be sure they can replace it without whipping out a piece of plastic to handle the situation. For such causes, a top high-yielding account such as Sallie Mae Bank's savings accounts may be the ticket to help you build up that fund.
In order to eventually wean yourself from credit cards, you'll need to start saving. If you are to deal with emergencies without having to resort to a line of credit, regular contributions to an easily accessible savings account are vital.
2. Be aware of income and outflow. It is imperative to understand the amount of income your household is receiving if you are to cope without falling back onto credit cards. Lots of people get into trouble with credit cards because they don't keep track of their financial transactions each month. They don't do a good job of monitoring their finances. If they consistently spend and live beyond their means, they will rack up credit card debt that will take a long time to pay off. This is the case even if they are using low-interest credit cards for their spending.
In order to live without credit cards it is necessary to make sure that your expenses are always less than the amount of income that you receive. With surplus cash, you can then put this money towards savings that can then be earmarked for future purchases. By delaying your gratification, you will avoid having to go into debt for mundane purchases.
3. Think positively! The fact is, a different way of thinking is required in order to live successfully without credit cards. Without these cards there is no interest to be paid, only interest to be gained. This means that people without credit cards can go farther with their income. None of it will go towards paying off debts on these cards and more money can therefore be funneled into a savings or investment account.
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When you decide to live without a credit card, you're making a huge decision. For instance, if you're a traveler and you've been spoiled by your frequent flyer credit card, then it may at first be difficult to surrender this convenience. Once you make the decision and decide to live with cash only, you may surprise yourself and find that it becomes easier as time goes on. It is a matter of getting used to this new lifestyle. You'll find it rewarding to be able to tuck away more savings, which may make it well worth the adjustments you end up having to make. Everyone finds their ways to cope in this situation and the reward for this change comes when you realize that you can now live without worrying about mounting credit card bills.
Of course, this type of lifestyle is not for everyone (or even most people). But there are some people who'll find this approach to spending quite liberating. In order to succeed, you'll need to make a commitment to erase all credit card debt as your first step. In addition, you should cut up any existing cards you own, in order to ensure that you don't get tempted into using or relying on your cards, especially for unnecessary purchases.
Living without credit cards can open the way to a whole new future of debt-free living, with no interest to pay!
Silicon Valley Blogger is a full time blogger and online entrepreneur who writes for The Digerati Life and The Smarter Wallet sites that cover general personal finance topics ranging from investing and saving to credit and debt management.