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What's in my wallet?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by James Burke, May 14, 2011.

  1. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Only a debit card and absolutely zero friggen credit cards.

    After four very long and very rough years, we finally laid the credit card bill to rest today. The card was cut up three years prior.

    I can't bear to look at the statements and calculate the interest, but I can say with confidence that I've learned my lesson.

    Several extended family members bailed on theirs...big time...when the going got rough, but I'm thankful (and not prideful) that we stuck it out.

    A very wise man used to tell me continually that "cash was king". And I'm finally beginning to understand just how right he was.

    Now all I need to do is muster up the discipline to put that monthly payment into the bank for future equipment replacement / repair and emergencies.

    A special celebration dinner is planned for Monday to commemorate the milestone.


    Jim
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2011
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  2. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    Good for you!
    I got rid of my credit card last year (God I miss it sometimes) I only have a debit card now.
    I combined my CC balance (paying 13.99% interest) into a home loan I got last year for my roof @ just under 4% interest...my CC balance was almost as much as my roof.
    But I'm paying less on that loan payment than I was on the minimum CC balance.
    I orta be debt-free in about 3 years.
    Love....Jill
     
  3. 503WRAPS

    503WRAPS Member

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    Good job! I made my own payment schedule so I could pay off my credit cards (back from when i was in college). Im using the "double stack" method, where I pay $100 on each card then when one is paid off, I put that extra $100 towards another card making it a $200 payment and so on. My wife and I should be paid off in less than a year. Cash is king!

    Stupid thing is I have lots in savings right now, but scared to put it towards paying the cc's. I'm a cash hoarder.
     
  4. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    You should be proud, that's a difficult accomplishment in this world.

    But to be the devil's advocate, credit in and of itself isn't inherently evil. It can also be a very useful tool to expand or efficiently operate a business, as long as it's used with extreme caution and isn't abused. We finally have no credit card debt either, but we do use a couple cards as a revolving line of credit to help boost cashflow and if done properly, that can open some doors and make life easier. But we only carry a balance for no more than one billing cycle so we don't pay interest.
     
  5. showcase 66

    showcase 66 Very Active Member

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    Awesome news. I have a debit card and my Discover card. I pretty much pay all my bills and Gas for the vehicles with the discover card. I usually pay it off every month anyway and I get cash back bonus with it. My wife on the other hand has a Penny's card, sears card, Victoria's secret card (I amok with that one) and I think a kohles card. All of which are about at a zero balance. Would love to get rid of them for the most part but my wife is pretty smart.

    At the department stores, she can usually get special discounts for using the card. She will purchase the items with the card and after that is done, she pays the card bill at the register. You have to be pretty disciplined with it though.

    Glad you are all caught up and enjoy the dinner.
     
  6. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    I completely agree. The trouble comes when the expected income doesn't. And even though it may be only used for necessities, a person can dig a fairly hole very quickly.

    The use of just a debit card has greatly improved my discipline. If the money isn't there in the first place....then I can't spend it. Pretty simple concept.

    Now there's a worthy cause...

    JB
     
  7. fmg

    fmg Very Active Member

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    What a lot of people tend to forget when using a credit card is A. It's not there money and B. YOU have to pay it back.
    I couldn't live without mine.I accumulate points and look for promotions that will earn me cash back.If you are prudent you can benefit from CC in a good way.Amex charge card is another good option as typically one has to pay back at the end of the month.
     
  8. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    AMEX platinum. i get like 11 free tickets a year!
     
  9. John L

    John L Very Active Member

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    Same here. I use it for almost all our purchases, but we carry almost a 0 balance. We have enjoyed so much stuff... free plane tickets, movie tickets, rental cars, dinners, cash money back!, and a flat screen TV set once... all apparently paid for by the merchants card fees. If everyone were like us, my math says they probably wouldnt be in business.
     
  10. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    There's nothing wrong with having a credit card if you learn how to use it responsibly. Having credit can make a big difference in building your business but you must understand how to use it wisely. I've had credit cards for twenty eight years now and always paid them off, if not then I pay interest. Credit can be made to work for you, and in some cases the cost of having it can be less than what can be made with it if you spend it for the right things. My credit score is over 800 and I make sure to monitor it and keep it that way. It's nice to know that if I do happen to need or want a piece of equipment, that I can get it. Tools make you money and you need money to buy tools.

    It's great you paid yours off and didn't say screw it. You can be proud of that. But having credit isn't always evil...
     
  11. John Butto

    John Butto Very Active Member

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    what suzie says

    Use the American Express for everything, business, restaurant, gas etc., pay the bill when it comes in every month. Like they say, reward points are great. Just use it like you would a checking account, if you don't have the money in the bank, don't buy it.
     
  12. btropical.com

    btropical.com Active Member

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    as a merchant amex sucks they charge the shizzle out vendors , we only take visa ,mstr card and discover . I got about 2 gs cash in my wallet and

    i keep all my receipts







    i
     
  13. dgtlrob

    dgtlrob Member

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    Congratulations to all of you on the road to fiscal responsibility -- Just remember that cash may be king but in a fiat based system there wont be any cash if there is no government debt.. (the money you hold "CASH" is debted into existence and backed by DEBT)
     
  14. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    It is what it is.

    I listened to a recorded speech by (then) Gov. Ronald Reagan from 1977 when he spoke on the campus of Hillsdale College.

    He said that "Only our government could take a useful commodity, such a paper...smear it with ink...and create something totally worthless".

    I think he pretty much summed it up.

    JB
     
  15. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    Speaking of using your debit cards for business purchases, be super careful with this too. Most of our purchases are made on credit accounts with our vendors (net 30 accounts), but those that aren't are put on a debit card for the most part. We've had the debit account numbers be compromised at least 4 times in the last 3 years, and it's a real pain to get straightened out. It's not like a credit card where you can just call them up and report a fraudulent transaction and they take it off and that's the end of it. With a debit card, that's real cash money that just left your bank account, it's becomes theft, the police get involved, and it can take some time to get the money back.

    It also happened about 8 years ago, our first year in business. We were small and struggling and I think we had about $6000 in the bank account at that time. Someone got the number and completely drained the account overnight, so we had zero money to operate. it took about 3-4 weeks to get it resolved and to get the money returned, but those were a few really tough weeks for a fledgling new business that needs every penny it can get. Fortunately we had a couple backup credit cards we were able to use to stay afloat but being small and struggling it took a while to even pay those off.
     
  16. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    in my honest opinion CC's are only bad if you don't have self control over spending. I would NEVER spend what i didn't have.
     
  17. SignosaurusRex

    SignosaurusRex Major Contributor

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    :goodpost: DISCIPLINE!
    A credit Card is a tool..... meant to be used & maintained properly.
    When used improperly.....they can and will reek a long and painful havoc.
     
  18. binki

    binki Premium Subscriber

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    cc companies are evil scum. the government is slowing fixing problems but it is really bad when they can change the terms retroactively on balances you already have.

    outside of that, back in the days of easy credit we were able to use those checks with the cc for 2.9% to purchase 2 vehicles. the charge for using them was $75 and the interest was fixed for the life of the balance. not only did i get the pinks for the cars but i had a great interest rate. we did the same for half of our equipment in the shop and were able to depreciate the entire purchase on our taxes in the first year.

    so there used to be some good with cc's. now, not so much.
     
  19. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

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    CC companies are scum.
    I never did carry a large balance from month to month, till about 8 years ago when I wanted to make some large purchases. I called the CC people wanting to increase my limit. During the conversation I randomly asked what my % was, as I was sure it may have changed from the 8.5% I had started with. The lady "calmly" told me 21.99%, to which I not so calmly blew a gasket.

    She went on to explain the reason for my high percentage rate was because of late payments. I was livid....WHAT LATE PAYMENTS, I asked? Of course she couldn't find any when she went back thru the records.

    By the time I got thru with them, I had gotten a refund for past interest I had paid (it was only 8 months worth), and then I ripped up their card. They told me, if I'd keep the card they would give me a fixed 1 yr at 0%, then the second year at a fixed 4%. I politely told them to pound their card up their butt (ok I wasn't that polite). Hah....fool me once.

    Today, I will NEVER carry a balance from month to month, and we only use a CC sparingly.

    Scum? Thats too good of a word.
     
  20. binki

    binki Premium Subscriber

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    scum is polite. i have more words for them. for that company that asks what's in your wallet, here is what they did. i had an apr of 7.9% and carried no balance with them. i made a larger purchase, about $7000, and before my next statement showed up they had doubled my rate to 14.9%. so much for a no hassle card. i paid it off right away.

    here are the scum things they have done.

    one bank doubled my rate twice. another bank increased my min payment from 2% of the balance to 5% of the balance even though i was never late. they said that since i only made min. payments i was a bad risk. i guess them giving me 2.9% and me only wanting to make min payments had nothing to do with it. i guess they were pissed they couldn't raise those rates since the purchase was make with the checks and they had to honor that rate for the life of the loan.

    several of the banks i had cards with merged with other banks and i ended up with multiple cards from the same bank and strangely enough with competition reduced they raised my rates. i guess the anti-trust arguments on the mergers didn't point that out.

    it is just beyond me how they are getting money for 1% or less and loaning it out for 20% or more and this not being a crime. i am all for the free market but what is free market about them being able to retroactively change the terms of the sale? if i make a purchase and i know the rate is 19% with a 2% then i know. but don't come back to me later and raise the payment or the interest when i haven't made any late payments.
     
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