At one time, I was walking around with more than a dozen credit cards in my wallet. When I finally made the move to cut up my cards, it literally left holes in my wallet. On a philosophical level, I can say my soul didn’t feel quite as empty anymore. According to a recent article by The Christian Science Monitor, it’s worth considering how many credit cards on average a person should have. Some people have the attitude that they shouldn’t have any credit cards. I personally like to have just one credit card and one two debit cards. My bank puts limits on daily cash withdrawals, which makes it difficult to access money in the case of an emergency. The author of the Christian Science Monitor article outlines how to use credit cards the right away. By paying off my dozens of credit cards and then closing down the accounts, I saved thousands of dollars in interest. I also have fewer headaches when it comes to keeping track of my bills.
Paying off in full
While experts recommend that people pay off their credit cards in full each month, I take it a step further. I pay off my balance with online banking the same day as I make the purchase. By keeping on top of my purchases, I can’t trick myself into feeling like it didn’t cost anything. Psychologists say using credit cards numbs the pain people would feel when they make a cash purchase. I tend to spend less money after watching my bank account balance go down after paying my credit card each day.
Using two different cards
According to a recent Consumer Reports study cited by the Christian Science Monitor, using two different credit cards can impact the reward dollars people earn. However, having more than two cards increase the odds of credit card irresponsibility. Even though experts recommend ideally having two credit cards, I’ve been happy having just one. I have an almost perfect credit score because my available limit is high and my balance is always low if not at zero.
Replacing my bad habit
I used to spend my time figuring out how I could pay my 12 different credit card bills. After paying off my debt, I had more money to save and invest. I now spend time learning about trading stock options and stocks using two different online discount brokerage accounts. By trading within my retirement accounts, I don’t have to worry about owing taxes. When I retire and take out money from my traditional retirement accounts, I’ll owe income tax. For now, I get satisfaction out of saving and investing rather than spending. Instead of buying shoes, I buy stock in shoe stores.
It took several years to pay off all my credit card debt, but I had the satisfaction of cutting up my credit-cards long before the balances were paid off. Having just one credit card kept me on track as I paid off my debt using the debt snowball system advocated by Dave Ramsey.
More from this contributor:
3 Stupid Moves I Made To Get out of Debt
I’m Still A Credit Deadbeat
I Refused to Pay off My Husband’s Credit Card Debt