Giving up Credit Cards
For years, you have been playing the credit card game. You thought yourself pretty darn smart for the tricks you learned to manipulate the system. You actually benefited from using cards. You cashed rebate checks regularly for buying the things you needed anyway and checks for trying "free insurance." You collected tons of free stuff from joining clubs. Yes, your new found skills for juggling interest rates and bringing in extra income were nearing perfection.
However, the problem was that you were always short on cash. Your spending budget paid our monthly credit card balances, and because you didn't want to pay any interest, you were forced to pay the bill in whole. Therefore, whenever you needed anything, you used our cards and it created a terrible cycle. And frankly you are now sick of always being broke.
So, a few months ago, you canceled our credit cards. The first month was torture and you still had to pay off our old balances so spending was tight. No more quick spending sprees at the grocery store. You had to follow the list. With a credit card (or check for that matter), it's easy to go a few bucks or more over budget. But with cash, who hasn't had to put a thing or two back? You actually found myself crossing things off the list at the last minute. And you know you found?
You can live without another can of oranges! It is possible to spend less than thirty bucks at the Dollar Store. This is the point. You can control your spending by using cash. Going on a double date needn't be so complicated. You don't need to pay for everyone's dinner on your card so they could pay you cash so we could have money at the movies. You are not broke, just penniless.
As for the extra income credit cards generated, it's not completely gone. You saved one card for emergencies and big purchases. You can still earn rebates and just don't have to be broke to do it. You save enough to make up for the rest of the lost income by not buying. And no one even misses the fifth choice of cereal.