How NOT to use your credit cards

Photo by Ian Britton/

Sure, the allure of the little rectangular plastic things in your wallet cannot be denied. They’re shiny, colorful and hey, not REAL money at the time you swipe them at the store after buying $300 worth of cosmetics, right? Wrong!

The easiest way to NOT use your credit cards?
Cut them up. Seriously.

Well, I can’t say that I’m ready to that that step, but what I’ve been doing for years is leaving the credit cards at home. Admittedly, I’ve never been one to go hog-wild with the plastic. Only big-ticket items that I plan to pay off within a couple of months go on one of two cards. If I really need to buy something and don’t have actual paper cash money on me, I’ll use the debit card. The debit card has become my friend. If I overspend, which happens rarely, I know I’ve got that much less money in my budget for the month.

Some creditors will even PAY YOU to settle your account and close it. American Express is allegedly offering $300 to account holders as an incentive, as a way to clear their ledgers of debt. But keep in mind that closing an account may have a negative effect on your credit score.

Yeah, so those are my two tips: If you can’t trust yourself to spend wisely when you’re out and about, either leave the credit cards home or cut them up!

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