Credit cards are part of our society now. The original credit card in the UK was issued by Barclaycard in 1966. However, credit vouchers were created long before this, back in 1880. At that time, there was no technology available to make credit cards a reality. The credit vouchers did kick-start the idea, though.
Today, many people have at least one credit card. Some take advantage of earning points, vouchers, or other perks by using them, before paying off the complete balance each month. However, this doesn’t apply to everyone. Some people have a balance they carry over, and that can rack up some serious interest charges over time.
Some people have found they are better off not having a credit card, purely because of this danger. If you struggle to manage your money, having a credit card can prove to be too much of a temptation. So, could you live without one?
For some, returning to making purchases with cash (or at least with a debit card) is an easier solution. But it can take some getting used to. It could be the best way to live within your means, though, if you know you find this hard. Cutting up your credit card(s) is hard, but it is also empowering. You know you cannot spend on them anymore. If you have existing balances on those cards, work at paying those off one by one. Start with the one that has the highest rate of interest, rather than the one with the smallest balance. That way, you’ll minimise the interest you pay.
In future, you’ll need to manage your money better because you won’t have that credit card to fall back on. Walking into a shop and seeing something you want to buy will require some thought. Can you afford it? You cannot now stick it on the credit card and worry about it later. Instead, you must focus on whether you need it and whether buying it means you will eat into your budget for more vital things, such as paying the bills.
While some people find it easy to use a credit card to their advantage, this doesn’t apply to everyone. You might feel you can trust yourself with one, or it could be the exact opposite. Only you know the answer to that. But if you’re unsure about cutting up your cards, tuck them away in a drawer for a week and see how you get on without them. At the very least, you’ll view the way you deal with money entirely differently, and that could be a big plus for the future.
Taking control of your finances is not easy. However, it does pay dividends. If you could live without a credit card, what would that mean for your finances? Would they improve? Would you be less likely to buy things on impulse that you don’t need? Many people find they can manage without them. Does that include you?