I’ve found that a credit card can be a very good budgeting tool. I was always afraid of credit and seeing the amount of debt a lot of people have nearly convinced me that the cards weren’t financially healthy. But then my mortgage company offered me a card with 1% cash back applied to my mortgage principal.
It didn’t sound like much but I began paying my utilities with it, buying groceries and gas and just about everything else. It really added up. I just have to be careful not to overspend just because I have a nice credit limit. I have a record of most of my expenses, I save postage by using the card to pay online and I actually get cash back for buying things I have to get anyway!
I don’t have to carry cash anymore, either. Cash tends to be too easy to spend; now I think twice before I stop at White Castle, Safeways, or wherever. In my case, the credit card actually saves me money. I like the buyer protection, too, in case that new water heater is defective and I can’t get the company to fix it. It means I can get my issuer to deny payment if that company won’t accept responsibility for a defective product.
I pay the card off completely every month and I got one with no annual fee so I get all these benefits and the card issuer pays me! That’s a pretty sweet deal, to my mind.”
Share your experiences in this column with tips on good deals and bad deals! I too have applied for a credit card tied to a local store, Carrefour to take advantage of the bonus points and rewards schemes they offer. Still no word on the approval.