The best way to escape from our mindless purchase economy is to ignore your credit cards in favor of pure, reliable cash. Credit cards undoubtedly have value – purchase protection, rewards, convenience – but only for consumers who use credit responsibly. No Credit Needed wrote a useful guide for anyone willing to live the credit-free life.
Life without plastic requires a few components:
- Budget: Every month, NCN writes out a comprehensive budget: “I divide my salary into three major categories – Give, Save, Spend – and then I break those categories into smaller sub-categories. For example: Give – Tithes, Offering, Charity. I then allocate, on paper, all of the funds that I receive for the month into those sub-categories. I spend every dollar, every month, on paper, before the month begins.”
- Payments and Spending: NCN makes payments either through his online account or with plain checks. For internet purchases, he uses a debit card.
- Transfers: NCN dips into his high-interest savings account once per month. We do the same, and enjoy the financial discipline imposed by limited trips to the cookie jar.
A cash-only lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but it’s an easy way to force yourself to consciously consider each and every purchase.
How I Live Without Using Credit Cards – My Simple System For Living On A Budget [No Credit Needed]