Is Cash Still King?
Credit cards are the devil's own playing cards. You're either really good with credit card debt (which means you don't have any) or it buries you a little deeper every month.
We stopped carrying credit card debt decades ago. I'm not bragging about it. It was a natural progression of events as we tried to rein in debt in our early years.
In the meantime, our friends went on amazing trips, bought fancy homes, and expensive furniture. We kind of puttered around in a creaky, old house, doing everything on our own, scavenging antique auctions and garage sales so we wouldn't hear the echoes of our voices when we were at home.
I'd be lying if I didn't say I was a bit envious of our friends back then. It's hard to see others having a good time and buying pretty things while we tightened our belts one more notch.
Patience has its rewards though. Not only did we pay off every house we ever owned, but we retired years before our friends did.
I think one of the things that helped us a lot was our vice-like grip on credit cards. Once we got out of debt, if we didn't have the money to pay for something in cash, we didn't buy it. It was cash or nothing.
That can be a two-edged sword though. It came back to bite us early on when we needed a credit history for buying a car, so we learned to play the game. We put purchases on the card, but only if we knew we could pay them off at the end of the month. This gave us the credit history we needed without throwing us into debt.
If you can pay off your credit cards every month, one of the great perks of credit is that some cards pay you reward points for cash or travel. If you're going to use credit, you might as well have one with a cash-back incentive.
Nowadays, we make it a point to pay for everything with a credit card, even insurance premiums which are hefty, knowing we'll pay it off at the end of the month. It nets us a nice little sum of points at the end of the year that turns into a rebate for us.
Debt is a way of life, especially when you're starting out or starting over, but once you conquer it, never put yourself back in that position even if you have to go without for a while.
It's interesting to note that it's getting harder and harder to pay by cash. Everything is so digitized that many vendors prefer credit card. Sometimes it's hard for me to wrap my head around that concept.
I don't mind using a credit card but it's usually for a substantial amount and not for a package of mints.
What's your feeling about credit cards? Do you use the ones with a cash-back incentive? Have you been at registers that say it only accepts credit cards?
We're hosting my brother and his son this week, doing all things touristy. It's been a bit of a challenge to entertain my little nephew. He's not your typical kid. His idea of fun is doing math problems and playing chess.
Math problems! That's crazy! I'm wondering if I should get him to do my taxes.
Today is the State Fair of Texas. I predict I will be dead on my feet by 6pm.
I'm feeling chipper though. The weather has been wonderful and my favorite holidays are coming up. I'm ready to finish this year off with good friends, family, and good food.
Has the change in weather made you feel more optimistic?
FYI: Amazon is having Prime Days October 10-11. Be sure to check out their deals both days. I've been finding some excellent sales lately, particularly for home and garden.
PS Greg tells me this coffee brand has been absolutely delicious. If you're a coffee drinker, he highly recommends Illy. He's particularly fond of the Brasille.