I've always used my credit cards like debit cards. If I don't have the money, I don't charge it. Credit cards have other benefits such as cash back and extra protection, but they don't have to be used to rack up debt. Doing this has kept me free of credit card debt.
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If given a choice by your credit union (avoid for-profit-banks, go with credit unions), choose a fee free credit card over a debit card. Debit cards draw directly from your money, and if pilfered can wipe you out; whereas, credit cards you are usually limited to a $50 loss if reported right away.
Credit cards also cover you in case you have a dispute...We were able to avoid a several thousand dollar loss on a trip when the cruise line went bankrupt right after 9/11. Had we paid by debit card, it would have been our loss. Thanks, American Express !
I know that not everyone likes or needs credit cards, yet having a Target credit card allows me to save 5% on every purchase, large or small. I really appreciate that the 5% is taken off during the initial purchase, versus sending out points, rewards cards, etc. The key to having any type of credit card is paying it off in FULL - monthly! I never accrue interest, and I save some money on every day items.
I save every $5 and $1 I bring into the house. I try to pay only in cash because cash is so much harder to spend than using a debit card or credit card. I have a savings account that I put a certain amount of money into every month and treat it like it was credit card/bill. I purchase use whenever possible. For three months I have beeing doing really well.
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