Living Off Of Your Credit Cards — In A Good Way!

I have never been the kind of person to pay for everything with a credit card and then pay off the balance every month. Until now! And by George this is working! Old dog, new trick!

I was always too afraid to do this because it is just too easy to leave a credit card balance to roll over and snowball. Credit cards can either be super dope finance tools or financial quicksand. The distinction lies in your own discipline.

Well, I think I have proven that I can be disciplined when it comes to finance. So my husband and I have begun to pay for all of our monthly expenses on a credit card so that we can take advantage of spending rewards. They keys to doing this are:

  1. Be uber-duper disciplined about paying that balance down to zero every time you receive a statement.
  2. Keep an eagle-eye on your budget and making sure you are not buying things that are not on your budget simply because you are using a credit card.

If you don’t think you can do this, be honest with yourself and don’t finish reading this post. Read this about changing your mindset around debt instead. But if you think you can do this, read on friend!

One of the reasons we decided to switch from paying our expenses from our checking account is based on our Home Equity Line of Credit strategy discussed here. We can’t pay for coffee out of our HELOC because the small bank we use calls me to verify every single-dingle transaction in the HELOC. Which is annoying. BUT we can pay off our credit card bill from the HELOC or the associated checking account attached to the HELOC. So the coffee now goes on the credit card bill, which we pay off out of the HELOC, which we pay down from our direct deposit. (If this cycle sounds confusing, go back and read the HELOC post for clarification.)

Another reason to use credit cards is that we have had ATM card after ATM card fall victim to fraud. I’m sick of this bull dookie! Credit cards are typically quicker to respond to fraud than bank accounts. Plus a credit card company typically doesn’t hold up your money in the event of a fraud investigation, which does happen during an ATM fraud investigation. Plus, I use Apple Pay when paying for groceries at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods (I know, total hipster yuppy), and I believe Apple Pay to be even more secure than actual card transactions.

And now about those rewards! I used Bankrate to find the best credit card for my family. You have to know your priorities for a credit card to select wisely. Do you want cash or travel rewards? We wanted travel rewards and we also wanted a card with no international transaction fees since we like to travel out of the country. For that reason, we selected the Capital One Venture card for personal use and a Capital One Spark card for business use. I’ve been pretty happy with Capital One’s customer service, although I do wish that my transactions would happen a little quicker. I want my available balance back up the day I pay off those cards and that does not happen fast enough for me. God I wish the infrastructure of Bitcoin was the infrastructure of our currency. But I digress.

I love hearing about how others choose credit cards and how they maintain discipline to enjoy the rewards and not get bit in the butt by the high interest rates on balances. Please share in the comments or the social media of your choice!

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Note: This is a repost from my personal site, www.natalimorris.com.

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