I have really come to hate credit cards. Sure, it’s nice to be able to buy things online, not have to carry lots of slips of paper and heavy coins around, and large purchases are simplified with a swipe of a piece of plastic rather than filling out a check, but really, credit cards are not as useful as people make them out to be. For starters, you have to write down in a budget book what you purchased anyway, and if you have recurring payments, if you don’t keep track of those, they can surprise you with late and overdraft fees. Credit cards are supposed to make things convenient and easy, but when I keep going over my budget and forgetting when this or that payment is supposed to happen, it becomes a real hassle.
Not to mention, the ability to pay for something without the money to pay for it. I’ve come to associate the feeling of euphoria at purchase then guilt at the debt as being similar to cheating on my diet. The food I eat tastes so good initially, then afterwards, when I step on the scale, the extra 2 pounds makes me wish I’d never eaten it. The same rise and fall in emotion comes from buying something before my paycheck comes and then realizing when the bill arrives that I’ve overspent my budget AGAIN.
I do keep a credit card for internet purchases because I don’t want to use a debit card, a direct link to my savings, and also recurring payments from places using Google Checkout or Chargify so I don’t HAVE to write out a check every month, but in general, the card stays locked up at home when I go out. I know cashiers don’t like checks and cash so much, but they’re gonna have to deal with the fact that I use them, and will continue to use them, to curb my spending into a more reasonable habit.