In an effort to manage my debt, I am cutting up (not closing) a few of the credit cards that I have balances on in an effort to reduce my debt. I must say I get tempted to buy things, especially this holiday season.
This method has worked for me with my Orchard Mastercard. I will continue to keep my NFCU cards; however, this is just a method that I prefer.
Is there anyone else out there that has done this that would like to share?
Years ago I didn't cut mine up, I put the ones I wanted to resist in a safe deposit box, so I had to think before I could swipe.
Recently a friend (with stellar credit even) has told me he was afraid to transfer a balance for lower interest (he's been getting 0% offers in droves, 18+ months) in that he was afraid he might run up balances on the freed up cards. I told him some tricks to avoid it. One, like above, the safe deposit box route. Another, put them in a ziplock, remove as much air as possible, then put that in an ice cream container half full of water, stick in freezer, freeze, then fill with more water to about 2 inches from the top, freeze again and to use them you have to get them out of the ice, melt and chip etc (a note saying "DO NOT MICROWAVE-SEVERE DAMAGE" might not be a bad idea lol). The urge will be gone probably before you can get to them. Or another, wrap in sturdy plastic, wrap that with half a roll of duct tape, before you can get through the tape, the urge will probably fade.
I didn't have too much of a problem with self restraint back then, nor now. I still carried cards with me, just fewer so I had to plan better (traveling for sales and marketing at the time). I've only recommended the scissors route to someone who was really worried they'd go a bit wild with them (we all have impulses and it's easy to forget sliding a card is peeling cash from a roll of bills and fast).
The credit card in the freezer...sound like some wild Soprano marfia hit, i like it, i like it...
My method is just to put them at the top of my closet ... i'm only 5'1'' so the thought of even having to try and get them turns me off lol i'm too lazy to go through the work of getting up there ... haha...
i have used the freezer trick myself. helps with impulse buys, sucks when you need for emergency car repairs
I just give mine to my wife. Talking her into giving it back is worse then waiting for ice to melt. She hates using credit.
Might not be a good solution for everyone though...
Set em up with something small and automatic like hulu plus, make sure you can pay them online [set up account], make sure you you dont have them on a store account like amazon, then shred em.... best way imho.