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05-15-2017 11:43 AM - edited 05-15-2017 11:46 AM
I can honestly say that I do not remember charging even $1 to a credit card that I was not planning to spend anyway. I NEVER use a credit card to purchase anything on time, always pay the balances off in full each month except for leaving small amounts on to show activity. I pay every bill I can with a credit card (which are all bills I have to pay anyway) strictly to receive the cashback. I feel like I am cheating myself if I am not pursuing a cashback on things that I am absolutely going to pay anyway whether I use a credit card or not. It simply allows me to achieve the purchase at a discount so not pursuing it from my perspective is like throwing away money. I never charge anything that does not give me a minimum of 2% cashback. After I receive my latest double cashback from my Discover Miles card in June (which should be in excess of $2000 including the doubling), I will have received in total cashbacks in excess of $6000 over the past three years, all for bills and purchases I was going to make regardless of wheather I had a single credit card. All my cashbacks ultimately gets deposited to my Schwab brokerage account that I trade myself. Since I consider this to be my play money and have some limited knowledge about trading stocks, I tend to trade it aggressively and somewhat speculatively and have been fortunate/luckly enough to leverage it into a net $2500 to $3000 per year of extra spending money without eating into my cashback principle. I obviously have to pay taxes on the brokerage profits but it's worth it. To each his own but using my credit cards in this manner is fun and profitable for me.
05-15-2017 12:19 PM
Hello Rockup! You have done what the OP asked and carefully looked at whether there was any possibility that purchasing primarily with credit cards might lead you to spend more than you otherwise would.
The fact that you have never spent even $1 more ever than you would if you paid with cash -- is awesome for you. It also makes you different than most people. Most people spend more with CCs. That's been shown by psychologists (though I can't lay my fingers on the studies right now).
The key thing is to "know thyself" (as the Delphic oracle recommended over 2000 years ago).
PS. I too buy pretty much everything with CCs and leverage their rewards packages. I just have to really aggressively monitor each purchase, and I sometimes fail (as with the example I gave earlier about the restaurant). The convenience of CCs (and protection against loss and theft) outweighs for me the loss I experience via overspending.
05-15-2017 04:10 PM
good, points could not agree more.
I just use a credit card as a convenience to cash and have bills(geico, home insurance, cable so on) going to a credit card.
At 58, i'm done with credit cards and points for the most part. Got burned in 2009 bad and learned my lesson.
05-16-2017 05:27 PM
You are exactly right Credit Guy about "knowing thyself". I did not always have control over my spending as is the case for most people who frequent this forum. I filed for Chapter 13 in 2007, was discharged in 2011 and had the last baddie drop off my reports a couple of months ago. My scores for all the agencies have risen from the low 600's to 800+ in my most recent reports. My credit recovery journey was a long and disciplined process with many lessons and suggestions taken from the combined expertise in this forum. By no means am I suggesting that my approach is for everyone. I just have a whole difference perspective about debt/credit now. For me it was useful to think about it a little bit like a successful weight loss programs. A good diet can work or a good exercise routine can work but to get substained on going results usually requires a fundemental change in approach that ultimately has to become very routine so its just a natural part of what you do.
My best to all on their journey with whatever approach works for you
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