T Nation

Anyone Living Without Credit Cards?


OK: With a baby on the way & the wife & I consolidating debts I seriously want some advice on how many people on T-Nation live within their means or at least try to -

Anyone here always pay cash or debit? The wife & I are paying down our debts with a bank loan & with the little man on the way budget is going to be tight.

Anyone else having to make the same no credit card decision?

I miss the plastic but I know it's going to be for the best...

Advice or tips would be helpful & appreciated.


Paying debt sucks man. I'm getting married in 18 days and combining debt is overwhelming, especially when student loans are involved. You have to do it though, depending on your income try to make a significant payment each month on your card with the highest interest...the only way to do this is putting yourselves on a budget. It sucks but you guys will adjust.

Do you own a home? We rent at the moment and working in the Motor City IN the automotive industry is scary. At least if I lost my job I know I won't have a mortgage to worry about. Our plan is to pay off all our debt, then look for a house. If we do it right and stick to our budget it shouldn't be too long. Plus wedding money and don't forget income tax return money each year, be smart and good luck.


Yeah I had to chop up a couple credit cards. Best thing for my situation. I'm picking up a second job just for the summer. To pay down some debts and save up some money for what is necessary.

If anything I will just keep only one credit card after i dig myself out of this mess. Words of wisdom to you other people. Don't use credit cards when you don't have money and never have more then 1!!!


We are currently paying ours off, I wish I had never gotten the damn things. Once the debt is gone, I will never use a credit card again.

I think you're doing the right thing, even if times get a little hard, you don't need that debt hanging over your head later.


Truth. As you get older lack of money management skills rears up its ugly head.

Good thing I handed over my CCs to the wife... at least she is better at accounting - otherwise I would be spending what I don't have.


good choice with the credit cards. My wife and I only have one and we never use it.

other advice: never get yourself in a situation where you need both incomes. YOUR income is for house, food, insurence, etc.... HER income is for boats, cars, dinner out, movies, etc... That way if she ever gets pregnant again, loses her job or anything else you still have your house and you can still eat and go to the doctor.


Never had one. I don't get it, if you can't afford why would you buy it? Well because, in a month I'll have the money- give me a break...you can trick yourself into that as much as you want.


I suggest never getting a credit card in the 1st place.

Got The cash ? = Buy it

Dont have the Cash = Dont even think about it.


I do not have any right now.
I even closed my bank account for right now
I opted to have my checks come to me on a cash card (comdata card) which is accepted anyplace a credit card or debit card is and I just get cash from an atm and deal with that
so Im re-learning how to live on cash only
once I get student loans all taken care of and stuff i will take things one step at a time and re-establish some good credit by using secured cards and get a car loan stuff like that
but for now nope, no credit for me at all if I dont have cash to get it free and clear then I do not need it.

Im doing this as an attempt to clean up my bad credit from previous marriage.


I am resentful towards my parents that they didn't teach my brother and I anything about money management growing up. When I was in college, I fell victim to the credit card scam, because I thought it was so cool the logo of my university was on the card. Little did I know about the obscene interest rate and penalty charges that come with it. Now I am much wiser. If you can pay off the balance each month or close to it I think you are ok. Otherwise you are going to have to tighten the belt a bit on the lifestyle.


Yes, takes a bit to get used to it but after awhile it is liberating.

Budget is a must. (Don't be soo strict that life sucks or you will become discouraged and possibly quit. Reward yourself when you hit certain milestones.)

Paying off debt is great but I would suggest saving until you have emergency funds in the range of 3-6 mths worth "before" paying "extra" on debt if you do not already have these funds available.

I listed debt lowest to highest amount regardless of interest rate and focussed on the smallest first. After I paid of first I rolled what I normally paid monthly on it into the next debt in line alond with any excess. So on and so forth. Each small victory encouraged me to stay the course towards paying off the bigger debts.

Remember, it's a marathon not a sprint. (I'm still in the race but can finally see the finish line.) The below site has some cool resources:

Good luck.


Me. I have a couple of credit cards but I don't use them. I maintain them mostly for emergencies. To me, living within your means is simple.

If you can afford it, do it. If you can't, then don't. Why is that such a big deal? It's easy.

And if there's something you want or need real bad, then put a portion of your pay into savings until you have enough.


I never really understood why it was so hard to live without credit cards. But I've never used them. I have one now for emergencies but I've never had to use it. I use one just to establish credit but I pay it off at the end of every month so I never deal with interest.


ugh, x2

I love my parents but everything that they taught me about money was wrong. I grew up being told how you needed credit cards, and should get one as soon as humanly possible, then USE it so you can build credit. I wish I could go back in time and shake some sense into myself.


Thanks to everyone who replied; lots of good stuff in here, both critical & supportive.

As for the people who have gotten by WITHOUT, kudos to you all for good money management... As for the rest like myself, shit happens, you want stuff so you get it without thinking about the consequences or even if you factor those in they don't seem so bad until one day it hits you. I used to think "only for emergencies as well" re: credit cards but swiping got so easy. 20/20 hindsight is so damn expensive

My wife & I are just getting more fiscally responsible & yeah, like all other habits I have learned you can live on less.

LOL guess I'll be stuck at Level 3 until I can get some more $ towards supps...


I love my credit cards. My goal is to eventually get about 30k credit, for reasons I won't bother going into, but they can work for you rather than just against you.

I used to work in a bank though, and the sheer amount of people that had maxed out credit cards never failed to amaze me. What's worse, some of them kept using them even though they had hit their limit and copped massive bank fee's and charges. On top of this, most would only pay the minimum payment each month, but then go spend that bit of credit and never really getting anywhere.

They fuck up alot of people's lives though. The worst part is that I would blame the banks more then the consumer. They give them out when they really shouldn't, and offer increased limits to people with maxed out cards who can't even pay what they owe. All because they are great for making profit.

Money > People's lives.


I used to have a shit ton of CC debit, I was young and stupid, ignorant really. It wasn't until my wife and I decided to close all but 2, hers she uses for her business and pays off each month, I use mine for emergencies only. If I haven't used mine in awhile I will use it to charge something once or twice a year to keep it open and active.

A suggestion is if you have multiple cards, pay as much as you can towards the lowest one even if you have to pay minimums to the others until you pay that first card off. Once you've paid that first one off take that amount and start paying off the second lowest one keep doing that until you've paid all of them off. This is how we did it and it worked great.


Not having a credit card isn't bright, because no credit is worse than bad credit. Control yourself. Pay for gas every month with it, and maybe a case of beer a month. Pay it off on time and in full. Repeat until your credit score is good.


True, I work at a bank and my old position (in a new spot now) was as a credit analyst. Amazing how many people don't grasp that you have to pay that money back plus incredible interest....I think credit cards are great tools if you have discipline. A good credit score can save you tons of money in the long run on a mortgage or other loans, but it you dig yourself a hole it could bite you in the ass for years. I would highly advise anyone thinking about a card to open a seperate checking acct. and deposit cash equal to your credit card limit and budget your card that way until you trust yourself....


They are sitting in a Taco Bell cup full of water inside the freezer. I'm just busting my ass off to pay that shit off so I can get the fuck out of dodge once and for all.