We are Human and are still working on our vices!
We are down to two credit cards. We should really be at zero. When you get to a debt free lifestyle with enough in savings, you are covered for the unexpected and keeping credit cards becomes unnecessary.
As much as I support the credit card free lifestyle, I am happy to ditch one of those two cards, but my heart is attached to the other! Silly, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say the attachment runs deep. You see, I aspire to live a nomadic lifestyle. Hoping on flights when the “itch” presents itself. Letting our kids see the world around us. It’s with a cringe that I admit out loud that my connection is strong to my Delta American Express.
Logically I know that credit cards cause us to spend more! We always end up with more food, more clothes or more whatever when we whip out plastic versus cash. This knowledge is not lost on me. I mean we counted EVERYTHING when we were in the thick of getting out of debt. Many times we were laughed at for counting down to the penny, saving every receipt and driving cars 10+ years old. So I remember how important not overspending can be. Realistically, we should cut our ties with lenders of any kind, regardless of the potential reward. But I’m not ready…..Insert the human in us. (Okay, fine – just the human in me. Denny has been wanting to get rid of the card for quite a while).
We are a family of six. Even as someone who LOVES researching travel, there is only so much a large family can save when altering dates, changing airlines, reducing bags,etc. In walk those AMAZING airline miles to save the day! With enough flexibility, we can all fly to our destination with free baggage for only the cost of the booking fees.
After being together for almost half our lives, it’s inevitable there will be pet peeves that sneak up in a marriage! There are the stereotypical ones – he/she is a bed hog, steals the covers, never picks up, bad cook, etc. The list really could go on and on. Not in this marriage! Our biggest pet peeve / struggle is over airline miles. Yup, I know you never guessed that one! Ha – do people actually bicker over them? If you are in the Glandon household, we do!
The Pet Peeve revolves around not the collection of them but is having a credit card for mile collection worth it? Enter the argument – Denny says No. Denny is logical. He knows that credit cards cause you to overspend. You are more apt to purchase more food, clothes, etc when you are not putting down cash on hand. And he knows mathematically, when you add the cost of the credit card (yes, we pay an annual fee to American Express for the privilege to use the card!), along with the cost of overspending, it would be better to just save up the money in our vacation account, even if we have to pay checked bag fees!
I say in spite of all that, Yes, it’s worth it. As a family of six, airline travel is expensive even when searching within any airline. To me, having the bank of miles let’s it seem cheaper to book a flight and it’s my security blanket to force Denny to travel. I know it’s illogical…Denny loves to travel! And he finds it valuable for our Quality of Life and sees benefit in experiencing other cultures and people. All I can say is, personal finance is only partly based on logic and mostly based on emotion! And I’m certainly driven by emotion!
Here is what we know for sure and agree on: credit cards make you spend more. That is a known fact and I will never disagree with that. I have put many things back down at the grocery store when I was pulling out cash or a debit card to pay for it. It becomes very clear what a need and want is when your bank account is deducted immediately with each purchase. Here is what we also agree on: we are human and full of emotions and personal choices. If anyone forces us to do something, we fight back without thinking. For now, we agree to disagree, and I keep accumulating miles, and Denny diligently logs into the account each day and pays off the balance. Yep – daily! He wants us to feel the pain of spending, while I still get the miles. I knew he loved me!
Remember: plans are only as good as the people who have to actually do them. Make a really good plan, but give yourself some love if you only hit 80% of your target. If you made a strong enough plan, you’re probably way better ahead at 80%, then winging it and hoping it will all work out!
Love yourself the way you are, and Embrace Your Means!