This week, at Financial Peace University, during the "Dumping Debt" lesson, I learned that I have an emotional connection to my credit card. At the end of class, I was sitting there watching person after person cut up their credit cards and thinking, It is a good thing I left my credit card at home.
How horrible is that?
When Dan and I lived apart for a year, we discovered early how expensive flights can be. We also discovered how many free flights could be earned with a Southwest Airlines credit card.
So, we decided to put everything we purchased on the credit card, pay it off every month, and enjoy the free flights. Once I moved back to Kansas City, we continued the plan, and were able to enjoy many wonderful trips courtesy of Southwest. This card has given me so many great and wonderful experiences. For years, I have told everyone I meet to get a Southwest credit card.
I love my credit card.
So, I knew going into this class that Dave would have a very hard time convincing me that I shouldn't have a credit card. We really do pay it off every. single. month. and other than the yearly fee, have not given them a cent's worth of interest. Why not take advantage of the benefits?
However, Dave brought up a point that I hadn't thought of. He said that having a credit card allows you to spend more freely. I couldn't really argue with that. We were, in fact, sitting in a financial class, so obviously our spending hasn't been as tight and controlled as we would have liked.
Also, I could see how having and using the credit card could make it that much easier to go off of our budget. If we ever did have a true emergency, I can see how tempting it would be to put money on a credit card, and as Dave says, turn the emergency into a crisis and start a cycle of debt we wouldn't get out of.
Lastly, obviously no one has gotten rich from free flights.
When Dan and I got home we had the talk and decided to get rid of our card. It is still hard for me to think about.
The credit card part was just a portion of the Dumping Debt lesson - the entire hour video was amazing. It was energetic and inspiring. We laughed, we cried, we cheered. By the end of the class Dan and I were so pumped. I now see why so many people become debt-free after taking these classes.
Dan and I left ready to get rid of our debt. After some calculating, we discovered we could pay off our non-mortgage debt (my student loans and my car) in roughly 2 years. Two years! That is on our current budget, which still allows us to go out to eat, save for vacation, and have some fun every once in a while. I could hardly believe it. I am already thinking of all the ways I could enjoy the extra money...
We were so excited about saving money that we decided to live the part and have ham and beans for dinner.
We put a $1 bag of beans and a $3 chunk of ham into the crockpot and had dinner ready when we got home. Add some hot sauce and it really is pretty good.
Lunch was leftovers from the day before - minus the gravy.
Breakfast was cereal with my favorite apple - honey crisp.
Thought for the day
(from our FPU workbook)
Question for the day
Do you use your credit card often? How hard would it be for you to get rid of it?
What is your favorite kind of apple?