Do/could you live without a credit card? Is this a goal...?

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Do/could you live without a credit card? Is this a goal...?

Post: # 138249Post LBR
Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:56 pm

A few thoughts:

Self-sufficiency means different things at different times in our lives, according to our frame of reference.

Our grandparents bought groceries on credit, and paid the bill at the end of the month.

Lots of people rented housed before WWII. Owning a home seems more recent for many.

Credit cards have become so much a part of the fabric of being in the world. Lots of folks pay off whatever they've charged and pay no interest.

However, living by barter, paying cash, or not buying at all, seem to me the ideal. Grow your own, build your own, make your own, or do without?

What do you think?

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Re: Do/could you live without a credit card? Is this a goal...?

Post: # 138256Post Berti
Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:21 am

yes I do without an creditcard as here in netherlands you cannot get one when you are on "social funds" (meaning you either are jobless or are not allowed to work because of health issues) .
I used to have one when I was married, but the thing was mainly used on the internet :)
so I don't terribly miss it, and also, it is safe because you don't build up debts using it.
nowadays more and more companies accept paypal (which I use) and you don't need a creditcard for that........

of course life also is made easier because we have debit cards now (or how do you call your bank card that allows you to pay with your PIN code?) so we don't need to carry around a lot of money, and they are FREE to use :)
so paying cash is also the option, doing without cash is not possible when you are talking shops etc .

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Re: Do/could you live without a credit card? Is this a goal...?

Post: # 138262Post contadina
Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:08 am

I've never had one despite constant enticements by different banks and retailers over the years. I've never understood why you'd want to buy something you can't afford. Saving up for it seems a much better solution than racking it up on credit.

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Re: Do/could you live without a credit card? Is this a goal...?

Post: # 138269Post Millymollymandy
Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:20 am

Credit cards don't seem to exist in France so we have bank cards which are debit cards. You can use them on the internet or abroad because they are recognised as 'credit cards' when overseas as they have mastercard or visa logos on them but they are debited direct from your account and there's no credit or bill that comes in. Sounds like that would be the answer to everyone's problems! :lol:

I do still have a UK proper credit card but I pay that off as soon as the bill comes in, and I only use it if I'm ordering something from the internet priced in Sterling.
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Re: Do/could you live without a credit card? Is this a goal...?

Post: # 138274Post moocher
Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:34 am

years ago i didnt have a credit rating as i had only used cash so what my bank told me to do was get a credit card buy a cd then pay it off and not use the card.
i think i had it for 2 years then stopped it.never had one since.

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Re: Do/could you live without a credit card? Is this a goal...?

Post: # 138279Post Milims
Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:34 am

To me credit cards are the tools of satan! Yup - I hate the things! I did have credit cards when I was married - my X wanted all the latest of everything and the credit to go with it. When I left him he ran me up £2000 worth of bills in 3 months :angryfire: - like a £300 phone bill etc - that I had to pay for and the only way was with a credit card. Since then it's paid off and cut up. There is no way I'd have another - if I don't have the money for it I don't buy it! Granted we have the usual "debts" like a mortgage, but I refuse to have any more. Becoming Ish has really made me stop and think about my consumerism and although we live (IMHO) very well and want for nothing, it's not because we splash out money we don't have on it - it's because we've changed our priorities. We've realised that the consumerist ideals just don't work - big things are saved up for and bought as needed not wanted and those things that are wanted are small and waited for.
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Re: Do/could you live without a credit card? Is this a goal...?

Post: # 138282Post Clara
Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:49 am

I've not had one for years, but found that it was really difficult to rent a car without one last time I was in the uk. Will probably apply for one someday just to cover this kind of thing.
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Re: Do/could you live without a credit card? Is this a goal...?

Post: # 138286Post Graye
Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:09 am

I've got a scary total of four BUT now I'm really good and pay off any balances each month. Having this many is just a hangover from when I was employed, earning a huge salary and STILL managing to need to juggle finances and use credit cards to get by each month. I think the logic behind four was so that I could have two (one each of Visa and Mastercard) with me in my purse and two others at home in case the purse was stolen/lost.

Now I keep them as some sort of safety net or for occasions when someone will accept a credit card but not a debit card. I think they are fine as long as you are sensible with them and aren't given to sudden splurges of extravagance - which I was but have now grown out of, thank goodness.

Funny, I hadn't thought about the lack of credit cards in France but you're right, Riff-Raff Element, they don't appear to, do they? Our Carte Bancaire has all the symbols but just works as a debit card. On another tack, despite having debit card facilities everywhere you go, the French are amazing at regularly writing cheques for VERY small amounts, really annoying when you get behind a few in the "less than 10 items" queue at the supermarket. But their most annoying thing with credit/debit cards is the way 24 hour automated garages (usually the only sort you can find in the evenings or Sundays unless you are on a motorway) will ONLY accept Carte Bancaire. Your usual debit/credit cards, which will work perfectly well in normal shops etc., suddenly become useless. The number of foreigners I have encountered literally begging me to help them buy fuel is amazing!
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Re: Do/could you live without a credit card? Is this a goal...?

Post: # 138288Post Rosendula
Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:30 am

I could live without credit cards but I do use them as I kind of profit from them. I never buy anything with a credit card unless I have the money in the bank and could pay cash (or with a debit card). I use a Mastercard which gives me points everytime I use it, and I use an American Express which gives me Nectar points. We pay things like rent, council tax, other bills, petrol and any shopping we do at the supermarket with them and save up the points for Christmas. We then use the points either to buy everyday stuff that we would normally buy, and so save money from our normal budget to spend on Christmas pressies, or we buy presents with them if there is anything worth having. If we didn't use the cards and 'earn' the points, we wouldn't have to do without at Christmas, we just see it as a little bonus.

We used to use a couple of different credit cards which we stopped using. With one, we stopped because they stopped giving us the 'rewards', so we weren't profiting. The other was a charity card and we found out the charity hardly got anything, so we stopped using it and sponsored an orangutan instead. We cut up the cards we don't use, but never got around to cancelling them and they keep upping the available credit on them.

We have overdraft facilities at the bank but have never, ever used them. The bank regularly offers us loans which we refuse (although they don't offer me them so much now I don't have wages going in).At one point, adding up what we would be allowed to spend on the credit cards, our available overdrafts and the loans we were offered, we worked out we could go out and spend £33,000 if we wanted. Yeah, right. Like we'd ever be able to pay it off.

I've just found out that the Mastercard I use is reducing the number of points we will get for using it, so we're going to have a think about whether or not it's worth using it at all, and if not we'll cut that one up as well.

We don't spend what we don't have, we always pay off in well before the due date to avoid interest and other charges, but I always pay after the interest has been added to my current account.

If you're going to use credit cards, you really need to be on the ball and keep a record of what you've spent, and ONLY spend what you could pay for now.
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Re: Do/could you live without a credit card? Is this a goal...?

Post: # 138289Post Odsox
Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:40 am

I could live without a credit card, but I don't think I particularly want too.
Living in the back of beyond I rely fairly heavily on mail order, and nowadays it's pretty much impossible to order anything without a credit/debit card.
If I buy from an Irish company then my debit card is fine, but Laser cards are not recognised in the UK, so I have to use my Mastercard.
I suppose if I stopped buying anything new (as per another thread on here), then my credit card would be unnecessary.
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Re: Do/could you live without a credit card? Is this a goal...?

Post: # 138292Post Annpan
Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:59 am

We use a few, we use them to buy big things (you get extra protection if you pay for things using credit cards) We needed the instant money when we got our Dry Rot treated.
Then we swap the balances about and play them off each other - we used to get 6% interest in our savings account and pay 3% for a balance transfer on the CC which was interest free for 16 months. So we saved up and payed it off and we were up a couple of percent, and a couple of percent on a washing machine, lawyers bills, dry rot treatment and re-roofing for the front of the house.... is quite a lot of money.

So yes we use them, but we play them off each other and we end up better off for it...... see Martin Lewis money saving expert website for more details :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Do/could you live without a credit card? Is this a goal...?

Post: # 138297Post Graye
Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:39 am

I like the idea of playing them off against each other. OH has a couple of credit cards he rarely uses and when he does he pays off the balance. He was rather amazed to receive a letter from one of them which effectively said that because he paid off the card each month they were going to charge him a yearly fee for having it. It didn't actually say this but anyone reading between the lines could see exactly what they were getting at. That one was very swiftly cacncelled!
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Re: Do/could you live without a credit card? Is this a goal...?

Post: # 138304Post red
Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:15 am

could easily live without one
as it happens we do have one, but pay it off straight away - we only use if for extra protection when buying something big/ online etc.
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Re: Do/could you live without a credit card? Is this a goal...?

Post: # 138331Post The Riff-Raff Element
Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:25 pm

Milims wrote:To me credit cards are the tools of satan!
Now, don't mince your words or keep anything bottled up. Just say how you really feel about them :mrgreen:

I agree - they are tools of evil! My brother was horribly seduced by easy credit and is still living with the after effects years later.

After almost six years in France I have finally gained a credit rating that would give me access to heady €250 credit. But its OK, because despite no longer living in the UK, the bank have never seen fit to close my card account from the days whan I travelled the world for work first class and 5 star. They even increased the limit by a grand a couple of years ago even though I have no UK income.

One day they are going to notice. In the meantime I shall continue to use it twice a year for Amazon orders.

Being debt free was hard work to achieve, but it does help me sleep at night.

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Re: Do/could you live without a credit card? Is this a goal...?

Post: # 138335Post mamos
Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:43 pm

We don't use credit cards however we do have debit cards and a credit card for the business which is automatically paid off by direct debit each month.

A quick tip which I have posted elsewhere

Don't cut up all of your credit cards if you are trying to go back to just using cash. It is always good to have an emergency zero monthly charge credit card just in case. but to stop you using it on frivolous things you need to put it in a washed out tin can full of water and put it in the freezer. It will take you a good while to defrost it and because it is in a metal can you cannot cheat and put it in the microwave.


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