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The danger zone

The danger zone

I’ve had a bumpy credit card history: I started out good — using a single credit card as a tool to build my credit history and that was it. Then I got into quite a bit of credit card debt. Then I went to the other extreme, and didn’t use credit cards at all for many years. But about a year or so ago, I got a credit card because of an unfortunate incident with my debit card that I hope will never be repeated. Since then, I’ve paid my credit card off in full each month when the bill comes.

But I’m still not comfortable at all with using credit cards. Basically, I use them for protection reasons & that’s it. (I do get a little cash back in the process, and I don’t get charged currency conversion fees — but those are just side benefits.)

Lately I’ve been feeling more & more uncomfortable with the bill. Even though I have the card I use all the time set up to be paid in full from my checking account automatically, I still stress about the payment. I check to make sure that the money came from my account on time, and that it actually made it to the card. I just don’t like constantly having this mental note out there that “ok, I’m up to $800 on the card now and that will come out of my account on the 22nd”. (I told you I use it for everything.)

It feels dangerous to me, like it would be too easy to slip into “well I may as well get this now because the cutoff date is past for the billing cycle”. There’s got to be a good compromise here somewhere. I may go with sending in payments every week, or more frequently. I just really dislike owing money, and thinking about owing money.

View Comments (6)
  • This isn’t something I do myself, but I have read somewhere about sending in a payment via online banking after each purchase. Maybe that would help you feel less stressed?

  • What CFO said. I’ve just started doing that. Actually, since my credit card is from my bank I just use online transfer instead of a normal payment.

  • Yes, I think I will send in payments more frequently, but after every purchase would be a little much for me, since I use it constantly. Although maybe that would have the side affect of me using it less ;)

  • My parents write down all their credit card purchases in a check register and check them off when they receive their monthly credit card statement. They pay theirs off completely each month and with Dad’s business expenses on there (sometimes over $30,000.00 in a month), they get a lot of airline miles from that card!

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