Average credit card debt is almost $5,000

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  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Aug. 15, 2012 9:06 a.m.

    Best financial advice I ever got: Treat credit cards like cash. Here's how:

    Every time you make a purchase on your credit card, write it down in your checkbook just as if you'd written a check. When you balance your checkbook, that money will be deducted just like cash (even though in reality the cash is still there). Then when your credit card bill comes, pay it in full but record it as a zero-dollar check in your checkbook (since you already deducted the money at the time you made the purchase).

    I have used this successfully since I was 18 and I have never not made a full payment. Now I charge everything (including utilities and mortgage), and by using a cash back credit card, I usually make about $100 a month in cash back. Plus I only have to write one check a month.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Aug. 14, 2012 9:50 a.m.


    I disagree. I use my card for most purchases and pay the balance in full each month. I pay no interest at all and get the use of their money while mine accrues the teensy bit of interest that banks pay on it - but it's better than nothing.

    I also have only one debt: my home; and it'll be paid in full in just a few years.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    Aug. 14, 2012 9:25 a.m.

    I beg to differ, AmPatriot. In fact, I use my card for practically every purchase I need to make, and then I cash in my points at the end of the year. Unless I am mistaken, I actually make money off my credit card, or at least pay less for items than you do by paying cash. I don't believe that by paying cash, you can redeem any points at the end of the year, but correct me if I am wrong.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 14, 2012 8:51 a.m.

    Patriot: Could you re-read and then repost the following sentence from your post. I understand the point of your post but can't decifer the meaning of this sentence: "Banks have surrenders to no interested fees for a more lucrative use fee that is 5-10% of consumer goods." Is there some inference that banks are somehow charging consumers 5 to 10% of the price of goods as a user fee?

  • AmPatriot Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 14, 2012 6:47 a.m.

    It's good many are trying to pay off credit cards but are the willing to stop using them? You can't have it both ways or they will never get out of debt.

    It doesn't matter if they pay zero interest, debt and interest have become irrelevant to each other, its all the other cost associated with it and why consumer cost of living is at an all time high. Banks have surrenders to no interested fees for a more lucrative use fee that is 5-10% of consumer goods.

    The banks, news media, and government are hung up on loan interest as relevant to debt when its not even a fraction of the cost for debt people have. In the old days when interest was the only cost to borrow money then it was relevant but fees are more profitable and not regulated like interest is.

    To be debt free they must be card free cash & carry customers.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 14, 2012 6:04 a.m.

    When you owe credit card debt you throw money away each month paying interest charges. With a little self control you can maintain a zero balance and spend the money you'd otherwise be giving the bank.