Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why we just cut up our credit cards.

 IS HE THE CUTEST OR WHAT?  Ok I am a little biased ;), but seriously!!! 

OK so today I wanted to just put something out there.  Why we just cut up our credit cards.  :)
Some of you may have just gasped.  Some may be cheering us on.  Some may be rolling your eyes. 
 I can assure you that whichever reaction you have- I am totally fine with it.  No for real, I am not offended.  What I did want to do is explain why because it is important to us and for us as we explain it to our children. 
 You see we have been taking the Financial Peace University class - Dave Ramsey.  Our church has emphasized wanting everyone to take the class.....because imagine what a large group of believers who are getting debt free could do?  I mean think about it!!!  I have, and I LOVE IT!!! 
 So I have to say- we are debt free except our mortgage.  That is still debt- yes.  We are working on that.  So why did we take the class?  Because we wanted to learn more!  There are always things we can do better.  When we do better we can be "free" to follow what God has for us.  Believe me we have learned more!!!  It has been great.   
 So my credit card story starts with when I was in college.  I got a credit card when I was a senior doing my practice teaching.  I was completely responsible, although I know my mom just about had a heart attack over it.  She didn't need to fear because she did an amazing job at teaching us as we grew up about spending, saving, and giving.  I literally kept track of all purchases in my check book- so I always knew I had enough money to pay my card off every month.  I told myself I was making sure I had good credit. 
 When we got married we had a couple more credit cards, and got rid of some.  Again, we always paid it off- except 2 times.  Once when we miscalculated our expenses from a vacation we took.  It left a pit in my stomach I can not even describe!!!  Literally felt sick :(.  The second was a simple oversight....mistake....oooppppssss forgot the deadline.  UFFDA!!!! 
 We have happily enjoyed the benefits of credit cards without the bad parts, or so we thought.  We got Hilton points and enjoyed free stays, we got cash back, and more!!!
 So it comes back again- why did we chop up our credit cards??

Because Dave Ramsey was doing his teaching and explaining why we cut up credit cards.  Having fun because he is an extremely good speaker.  It occurred to us that our children have seen us use credit cards their whole life.  Sure we use cash- on rare occasions, but 90% of the time we use credit cards. 

So in our children's mind- we are constantly using debt to pay for things.  Now this is NOT to bash anyone at all!!!!!  Know my intentions are not that, but when I saw the Barbie doll that has a credit card going shopping with "mommy" who has a pretend credit card saying- "let's go shopping" (part of the video he does).  It hit me like a MACK TRUCK!  I don't want to leave that legacy to my children. 
 Proverbs 22:6-7 (NIV)
Start children off on the way they should go,
    and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
The rich rule over the poor,
    and the borrower is slave to the lender.
 When he pointed out the scripture we typically know as a parenting scripture- start children off in the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. 

Then the NEXT VERSE says- The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. 

It hit us that we are slave to the lender.....even if we pay it off every month.  So why don't we use cash?  Sure we can say because we love the credit card benefits.  Maybe, but is going into debt- being a slave to the lender worth it? 
Romans 13:8 
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

So we decided to cut up the plastic!  I mean the thing is that even though we were getting benefits- we will more than earn those and then some because of the fact that when people use cash- they spend a LOT LESS.  Because we "feel" the money and cash has an emotion attached to it that credit cards just don't have.  They just have a swipe and a number that we are numb to.  Cash has a feeling as we count it out and hand it over.  The feeling of- how hard we worked to save that up in order to spend it.  It is emotional to do that, and therefore we typically think twice about our purchases on a whole different level. 
When we buy something online we will buy it with a debit card.  We know sometimes for work you can't get away with it.  We know that this is not for everyone and that is ok. 

What we are saying is that we were convicted.  We want to change our patterns and habits to do the best we can with what we have.  We truly believe that this is part of that journey for us.  I am pretty sure there are a million other lessons we need to learn.  ;)  Daily!

1 comment:

  1. Great point -- I never thought of how my girls will think of me using credit cards -- because like you I am totally responsible and pay it off every month -- but it is true -- they are 16 & 17 and really want a credit card -- and I can't figure out why -- but it is the media portrayal of it being 'free' money and you can go shopping... I will definitely think about this for me as well!!! Thanks for the food for thought!