Because I know better now (after learning my lesson the hard way years ago and eventually becoming credit card debt-free), I accumulate rewards from my credit cards instead of debts. I said credit cards (with an “s”) because from having just one credit card, I now have two from the same credit card company — Citibank Cash Back (Visa) and Citibank Rewards (Mastercard). These two different cards come with cool rewards that make using them worth my while. And because I’m now more disciplined than ever, I get to make the most of my credit card rewards!
While many can’t keep their credit cards at a zero balance, some people can. I’m one of those people who pay their monthly credit card balance in full (but not after experiencing getting neck-deep in credit card debt first which was one of the reasons why I got to appear on a local business and finance TV show last year!). More than learning my lesson the hard way, I think what made me get my acts together was getting drained (financially and emotionally) by this vicious cycle which only I could break. The thought of being credit card debt-free (and the joy that comes with it!) was just a bonus.
Maintaining a zero balance on credit cards is doable. Here are some practices I employ to make sure the hubby and I get to pay our credit card debts in full every month:
Just the other day, I received an email from Citibank informing me that my credit limit has been increased once again. From P55,000, it’s now P80,000. Again, I didn’t ask for it, they just willingly gave it to me like in my previous line increase. Was it because I’m a responsible cardholder now? Yes, probably. Or maybe, they just want to lure me into spending more. Well, good luck to them because that won’t happen!
Ever since I became credit card debt-free, I’ve been paying my credit card dues in full. After learning the hard way how credit card companies make money, I started to take my credit card spending seriously. I want to give them as little profit as possible by being a responsible cardholder now.
I dream of the time when I won’t have to use my credit card anymore. I dream of the time when I can just use my ATM or debit card to pay for my purchases. I dream for that time to come soon! Right now, I still depend on my one and only credit card (I used to have three) for when I travel (for plane tickets and hotel accommodations), shop (for big, expensive items only) and dine out (occasionally).
On a related note, I’m very glad about the recent development in my credit card use. I am now credit card debt-free! Yes, you read that right. And I plan to make it for good. This means no more impulsive shopping for me. This means no more shopping when financial blessings are about to be received (hello bonuses!) or when expecting that extra income from my side jobs.
I was surprised to see my Citibank billing statement this morning. It says there I was given a P200 credit rebate because of the purchases I made from September 19 to October 15, 2013. Wow, thanks! P200 is still P200. This definitely made me smile.
Citibank (Cebu Pacific Citi Card, to be exact) is currently my only credit card at present. Because the hubby and I wanted to cut our credit card spending and reduce our debts in general, we ditched our other cards and retained just one each. It’s proven to be a good decision because now, we are more conscious about how we use our credit cards. Every peso borrowed using them are well-calculated. Haha.
I remember early this year, I told myself (and probably shared in this blog) that I wanted to be debt-free. No, not just me, but my husband as well. We have some credit card debts that need immediate financial attention. I’ve heard of other people’s horrible stories on credit card debts and while we’re far from credit card-related trouble, I can’t imagine ourselves getting into the same situation. It’s like it’s gonna be the end of the world for me.
I noticed that in the past two years, a good chunk of our supposed-to-be savings just went to our credit card obligations. I know there’s nobody else to blame but us. We made a lot of impulsive purchases (I once bought tons of cheap postcards just because they were on sale!) and spent money before it even came. Truly, a bad spending habit that needs to be curbed before it’s too late.