Year 5 with no credit cards

I haven’t put out an update on this in a few years. Yes, Courtney and I are now officially entering year 5 without having a credit card.

And it feels wonderful.

We still are largely a cash only family, but we do use the debit card on occasion for things that just are too big of a pain to buy with cash (gas, online stuff, recurring bills, etc.).

If you are still debating whether to make the jump to the no credit card lifestyle, just remember: Adding debt to a crisis is NOT solving the crisis.

This still stands as one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever made (stressful might be a better word) if only because so many people predicted doom and gloom. And yes, we did ditch our cards right at the start of the Great Recession. While correlation does not necessarily mean causation, I find it very interesting that the time frame of the Great Recession is also the time frame of the greatest financial growth for us. Surely much of that comes from the general changes we made, but I do give at least some credit to the behavior changes not having credit cards force on you (and don’t call me Shirley).

If you can’t do it yet, work toward it. It has been so utterly freeing.

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5 Responses to Year 5 with no credit cards

  1. Emily Heath says:

    Good for you. I’ve never had a credit card, because I don’t want to be tempted to spend money I don’t have. I use my debit card often, but I check my account every couple of days to check how much is in there. Unfortunately I still have a huge student loan to pay off! And a mortgage.

    • daveloveless says:

      Yeah, that’s about roughly where we’re at as well. We’re on track to pay off the student loans this year (they were never too bad to begin with), but even I find that mortgage daunting at best. If we did absolutely everything we could, we’d be done in about 7 or 8 years. I doubt we could maintain that kind of energy, but won’t it be awesome to be done!

      By the way, our plan is to head your way as a “debt free” celebration. I have a great fascination with the grand old Atlantic Ocean Liners, especially the Cunard line. Who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll drop in on the apiary! Although my wife would be hiding inside the nearest fully screened building, I would love to see it.

  2. Sarah L. says:

    I think we might try that after we get a house and we’re done playing the creditors’ game. We were told we had “baby credit” and they would like to see us with a couple more credit cards. Ridiculous. So maybe I’ll cut up the cards later, but then I would like to use them more and pay them off just so I can receive rewards while they make no money off of me. BWAH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! I would especially like airline miles.

  3. angeladecker says:

    I’m told that it’s better for your credit score to show that you know how to use credit, which can be important for buying a house (which you already have) and other large purchases. That being said, I had a generic Wells Fargo credit line that came with my student account, and even though I hardly used it, they apparently deemed that enough responsibility to raise my limit every once in a while. We do have two credit cards that we use simply for the rewards points and favorable credit score – a PayPal one for me (for all my internet purchases) and a Capitol One for Steve so we can rack up some airline miles for when we move away to grad school. I’d be interested if you know anything about what I’ve heard about the credit score – it was a while ago and I don’t remember from which source I learned it.

  4. Junepoppies says:

    This is interesting. I have never considered not having a credit card. We use one for pretty much everything (though we have cash for emergencies). Besides owing on our home, In 13 years we haven’t fallen into the debt trap. we are good with knowing our budget and we pay off everything at the end of the cycle. We haven’t had any debt carry over. It is something you have to be very aware, but can be done. it has actually helped us out quite a bit. especially when Christmas comes around. we accrue awards on our cards that we trade in for gift cards. so no out-of-pocket money for Christmas. which is a blessing.

    I do like the idea that it can be done without credit cards though. I will keep it in mind if we ever feel we need a change.

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