Last week, my friend No Credit Needed had a post up about How to Break The Credit Card Habit, and it was such a great post that I wanted to both share it with you guys and add my own thoughts on it. I don’t have a problem with credit cards at all, as evidenced by my post the other day I Am Not Against Using Credit Cards To My Advantage, but NCN offers great advice to get off the credit card runaway train that some people are on, from learning to balance your checkbook, starting to live on a budget, and changing the way that we look at the “stuff” we buy. (read: want, not need) If you are so inclined to live without credit cards, as NCN does, I have an even easier way to do it – move to the town where I live.
Many of the businesses here do not take credit cards, and if they do, they charge you a $.75-$1.00 fee each time you want to use your card. Debit cards, you say? Nope, many of them don’t take those at all. In a lot of ways, it’s like living in the past. They will take local checks, but they won’t take credit cards. They will take cash, but they won’t take debit cards. Of course, places like the grocery store take credit/debit without the fee, but most of the small businesses don’t without charging a fee. They have a good reason for this, as each time a vendor accepts a credit card, the credit card company does charge them a fee. Most retailers eat this fee as the price of doing business with their customers, but on a small scale, in a small town, those fees add up – so they want the customer to pay for it unless you spend X amount of dollars with them. This is usually $10+, so if you want to buy a cup of coffee with your Visa, you have to pay the fee.
So, if you really need to escape from using credit cards, you can move to a small mountain town. For the most part, it will force you to stop using them!