Try living without a credit card and spend only what you have.

Credit cards can be useful tools in letting us buy what we need. Unfortunately for many of us, credit card spending has gotten out of control and left us in debt. Many people think they must have a credit card in this day and age, but you can easily get by without one.

Not only will you benefit by not racking up big credit card bills when you don’t use a credit card, there are a number of other benefits:

  • Research has shown that shoppers who use credit cards spend more than those who don’t.
  • People are less likely to make impulse purchases.
  • You are only spending money that you have.
  • You pay the true cost for an item, not what it would cost if you paid for it on a credit card when you add in all the interest you would pay.

How to live without a credit card:

Get a debit card from your bank, one that has the Master Card or Visa logo.

  • With a decreasing number of stores and restaurants accepting checks, a debit card provides you the convenience of not carrying cash and enables you to spend only money you actually have in the bank. Use caution when paying with a debit card, though, because these little plastic cards can, like a credit card, make it easier to spend more money than if you were actually counting out the cash or writing a check.

Determine if the purchase you are about to make is something you need or something you want.

    When we can live without a credit card our economy, health and family all thrive.

  • People tend to make more frequent and higher-priced impulse purchases when paying by credit card than if they are paying with cash or with a debit card. If paying with cash in your wallet or bank account, you have a greater tendency to stop and think, “Do I really need this, or do I just want it? Is it worth what I’m going to have to skip in order to get it?”

Comparison-shop to find the best deal by researching the items you want before you go to the store.

  • In a report released by MIT’s Sloan School of Management, consumers tend to spend much more for an item when they are paying with a credit card than paying cash for the same item.

Utilize lay-away services for gift purchases, household items and clothing.

  • This requires a little planning, but more retail stores are bringing back the old layaway plans that allow their customers to “pay out” an item without having to use a credit card. Although you won’t get to take the item home immediately. But when you do, it will be fully paid for and all yours.

Start a Christmas fund or a savings account for large ticket items, gift purchases and family vacations.

  • Set money aside every month or out of every paycheck to an account you’ve established for that purpose so when holidays come around or you want to take a trip, you have money set aside to buy what you need rather than relying on a credit card.

First steps:

Take the credit cards out of your purse or wallet and tuck them away or cut them up. When you have easy access to them, you are much more likely to use them.

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