03-04-2013 04:42 PM
Up until a few months ago, I had been a cash only guy for the past 7 or 8 years. I had forgotten just how easy it is to spend when you have high credit limits. In just 30 days or so, I managed to rack up about 2 grand in charges. Just paid it all off today and the majority of these cards (with exception of two) will be going in my drawer. It snuck up on me so fast I didn't even realize it until I did my spreadsheet today
The biggest problem I've had is that I've been trying to actually use the cards, you know... to get some usage going through them? So I would use one card for dinners, another card for gas and then I was just trying to use every new card I got. If my daughter asked me for something, I kept saying yes. "Let's go out to dinner!" YES. I have been saying yes for the past month. Such a bad idea. My balances are now back at zero and I am done with the "run some money through the card" b.s.
That was a dumb approach. Going forward I'm only truly going to use my Discover and my USAA card. Discover for day to day. USAA for big purchases and then pay in full.
To be fair to myself about 1200 of that was legit charges from just daily living. The other 800 though was pure "SURE LETS GO OUT TO EAT AGAIN"
03-04-2013 04:48 PM
03-04-2013 05:04 PM
Just pretend your credit card is a debit card and only spend what you have in your checking that is set aside for purchases. It takes a little discipline, but practice makes perfect.
03-04-2013 05:11 PM
Its easy to do. I ran up about 2200 on total crap. I have nothing to show for it but a smaller bank account. It took me 3 months or so to pay down. No more!!!
03-04-2013 05:23 PM
03-04-2013 05:25 PM
Hahahaha I have the same problem!! I just hope Discover counts Grubhub as "dining"
Hey - just FYI, GrubHub is not coded as a "restaurant/dining" category. I don't know if there is a bonus on dining for Discover, but if so, GrubHub won't get it. I found that out the hard way. CSP was nice enough to give me 5000 points as a courtesy, since I didn't get the extra points from GrubHub, but its definitely not coded as dining.
03-04-2013 05:28 PM
They have done studies that show people generally spend more when using a credit card. Credit cards have never felt like real money to me and I now recognize that as a problem. After many years of inappropriate money management (BK, consolidation loans, 0% CC transfers - you name it I've done it) I finally got my a handle on my money by using a very simple budgeting program. I can see at a glance where I will be financially all the way out two years from now. I log every CC charge, bill, cash expense and the appropriate payment, most of these are set up as recurring so if I shop for clothes every two months I enter in an automatic recurring transaction for clothes every two months.
It was truly frightening to me when I started doing this. I was overspending my net take home pay by $200 every month. It was amazing to see how much of a difference just cutting my food budget by $10 per week made in the course of a year. I have a set amount for every expense so when I go to the grocery store now instead of throwing something in my cart because I'll just pay for it later when the CC bill is due, I know that the amount I am overspending will be entered into my budget program and I will actually have to see the amount I overspent for something totally unnecessary. I know budgets are boring, but I have actually stuck with this for two years and have stayed out of debt for the first time in my entire life. Nothing like seeing that looming large car insurance premium on the horizon to make me rethink the latest impulse purchase.
03-04-2013 05:30 PM
Boo! Well, thanks for letting me know. At least I'll still get the 1% back. I just found out you get 15% cash back for groupon, though! One more reason to feed my addiction....
03-04-2013 05:32 PM
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