Breaking the habit

24 08 2008

I’ve decided that I’m addicted to credit cards.

I’m no fiend. Think of it as a weekend warrior type of addiction instead of a heroine hit for breakfast type addiction. I don’t abuse my credit cards, but I use them too much and I think that, in the end, this hurts my quality of life. Credit cards make me believe that I can afford to buy more then I actually can. I’ve found that, while I don’t go to extremes of debt, I do spend much more money then I would if I didn’t have these preposterous pieces of plastic.

I’ve been trying, over the past few weeks to pay for my daily needs using only cash and my debit card (I still use the credit card’s for month to month expenses like my cell phone bill) and I’m finding it impossible to make it to my next paycheck without my bank account almost hitting zero. I’m entirely committed to my goal of weening myself off of credit cards, but I didn’t quite realize how much of adjustment I’d have to make to my lifestyle. For instance, in the days where I’d take a hit of credit and like it, it was easy to go crazy in the supermarket and drop two hundred dollars on groceries. Now, when I realize that I have $400 in my bank account that has to last me for 15 days, I think twice. I’ve been able to successfully knock about $80 in unneeded items off of that bill when I go. That’s just one example, but it’s really a problem that extends to all aspects of my life.

I have a feeling that I’m not alone in this addiction. I kind of liken it to the over consumption of sugar in America. Most people don’t realize how much of an issue it is because it’s so ingrained into our everyday existence. I challenge you to try it for just 2 weeks. Try to make all of your purchases using only cash or a debit card.

It’s hard… but I think it’s going to be one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while.

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