This article contains information about how we created a financial responsibility framework that works best for our family.
I have preached loud and proud many times on the blog for the last several years about how much I love our Southwest Premier credit card; It has allowed us to travel to some amazing places thanks to their unbeatable reward point system. I could sing the praises of Southwest Airlines all the live long day, but let’s get back to money money money and credit cards. 😉
Since I last posted my opinions about this particular card our views have shifted quite a bit, so I thought I’d keep the conversation going and offer an update about how and why our practices have changed a bit regarding the use of this handy little card.
Long story short, we stopped using our joint credit card a few months ago after realizing just how little we communicated about our daily spending. Swiping the credit card felt a lot easier than swiping our debit card, and it was pretty obvious that we’d gotten ourselves into some habits that Dave Ramsey would not approve of. 😉
Jamie mentioned getting rid of the credit card months and months ago, but I was reluctant to because I didn’t want to give up the reward points. Giving up the reward points that go toward flights, gift cards, etc. felt like giving up free cash for simply just spending money that we would have spent anyway.
The writing was on the wall though that we were both quicker to spend money with the credit card without talking to each other or looking at our bank account first.
So we gave up the credit card a few months ago (I can’t even remember what led us to finally pulling the plug), and as no surprise to some of you financial gurus, we are much happier and more comfortable. We’re having to watch our accounts more closely and communicate more about various purchases, upcoming events/bills, etc., and we are liking the fact that we seemingly have more money left over each month because of this.
I do miss the reward points, and sometimes I think “Let me just pay this big bill with the card and then I’ll go pay it off with our bank account in a few days”, and maybe we’ll get to that at some point, but for now Jamie and I are committed to each other to put the card on the back burner and forget about it until we rebuild more conscious spending habits. If you ask Jamie, he’ll tell you that we will never use credit cards again.
But a part of me just dies inside at the idea of spending money on flights instead of using points like we always do. I really do see the value of paying off your credit card every month and pulling in incredible rewards simply for spending the money you already were. I have several family members and close friends who swear by using their credit cards responsibly and then seeing rewards that allow them to do amazing things guilt-free. I just think doing things this way requires some longevity of responsible spending habits, strict family budgeting, and constantly open communication about the money that’s coming in and going out.
For now, I am totally on board with Jamie and the idea of giving it a rest for a year or two. We have a few sets of “couple friends” who we can be open with about finances, and they both agree that living credit card free is the way to go since it makes it easier to stay out of debt. Having their accountability is a blessing!
I know opinions are all over the map about this one! Do you use a credit card strictly for the reward points? What is your system like for making sure it gets paid in full every month?
Did you ever have a credit card and decide to give it up?
What is your personal favorite credit card and why?
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Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to three little girls (ages 7, 4, and 1) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo