Sunday, August 22

Personal Finance Challenge: 30 Day Credit Card Ban (wrap-up)

I realized that because my vacation coincided with the finale of my credit card ban I never got a chance to sum up the month for you. So here it is:
What I Learned From a Month with No Credit:
1. I have more self-control than I ever give myself credit for. I started the month with $180 cash to spend on anything that wasn't a pre-budgeted bill or gas and ended with $15 still in my wallet.

2. Having a limited supply of money available for the month makes you question every purchase. Even when it came down to something as simple as lunch I found myself less willing to opt for a meal in the cafeteria.
Frivolous spending today only equated to less money tomorrow. 

3. On the other hand, when you truly love something you don't feel guilty handing over cash for it. Seriously, there was never any buyer's remorse here. I bought two items of clothing during my credit card ban, a dress from Goodwill and a scarf from Urban Outfitters and have not have any regrets.

4. Cash helps you look forward, instead of looking back. The thing about credits cards is that when the bill comes you are always paying for something from the past. Whether it be a meal, or clothing, or tickets to a baseball game it's already happened. It's almost impossible to plan for future expenses when you are trying to recall what was already spent. With cash, once the money leaves your hand it's paid for.


5. Having cash on hand automatically makes you responsible for parking and tips.
Thanks SSBF.

Anyway, I would say if you are looking for a way to better control your cash flow I would recommend trying a credit detox for a month. It's actually quite liberating.

Next Month's Challenge: Snowflaking.


  1. I have to agree with you 100%. I've recently gotten rid of the card (omg the impulse buys were killing me) and I now debate every little purchase for what feels like an eternity. It's so much harder to part with money in the form of cash!

  2. Going all cash is seriously smart when it comes to breaking the overspending habit - I know from experience! I consider myself to be "rehabilitated" - I now use my credit card again for all purchases, but I keep a meticulous account of my spending and pay the bill in full every month. I find it more convenient than cash, plus I have a cash-back rewards card. But some people go off of credit cards and never go back. You have to evaluate what works for you.

    I think it's great that you're working so hard to pay off your credit card debt - the feeling of being consumer debt free is totally liberating, and I can't wait for you to experience it!


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