Other than those, I have another list of things that I feel I can’t live without. This list includes items such as a cell phone, a car and a credit card.
I didn’t realize how much I rely on my credit card until I received a call from my bank a couple days ago. I was told there was suspicious activity on my card and then asked about a few purchases that were made in Oregon and Tennessee – not by me. After mulling over my options, it turned out the only choice I had was to close my account.
That doesn’t seem like too big of a deal, right? Actually it’s a lot more complicated than I thought. For someone that uses a credit card for nearly every purchase, I took for granted the fact that I’d always have my handy-dandy card. Now that I don’t, my life has become one big mess.
All right, so it’s not that bad, but it’s still a hassle. I don’t have the luxury of little things like paying for gas at the pump. Perhaps what annoys me the most is breaking a $20 bill for something small like a pack of gum. You never come across these types of scenarios when you have a credit card.
While I may be exaggerating a little, the truth is that life seems much easier with a credit card than without. If you’ve ever been in the same pickle that I currently find myself in, you know the feeling. If you find yourself in this predicament for the first time, here are a few tips to get by until you get your new card.
If you prefer to not carry cash, carrying a debit card is the most logical step. Much like a credit card, all it takes is a simple swipe of the card to make your purchase, granted you have enough money in your checking account. The main difference is that each purchase comes directly out of your account, as opposed to a credit card, which you have the option of paying off in installments. Debit cards are easy to use, although it’s important to check with your card issuer about special fees you may come across.
I’d much rather use a debit card than carry around cash for the main reason that I seem to lose loose bills. However, it does have its advantages. People are more conscious about how much they’re spending when they pay with cash instead of plastic. If you’re looking to save money, this is a good place to start because you’ll generally carry just enough to purchase what you need instead of what you want.
These are essentially the same as debit cards except you pay up front for the money you want to put on the card. Prepaid cards are also good if you’re trying to save money, because you won’t put more money than you need on the card. Once it runs out of money, that’s it. There’s also no risk of overdraft fees, because you can only spend the amount you put on the card.
Some people believe credit cards cause more harm than good. If you’re the type of person that has trouble staying within a budget, you’re probably better off having one or two credit cards as opposed to four or five. It’s typically not a good idea to get rid of credit cards altogether, because then you’ll have trouble building credit. If you don’t build credit, how do you expect to afford a mortgage?
As for my situation, I’ll opt to use my debit card, mainly because of its ease. One thing’s for certain, though: I can’t wait until my new card comes in the mail!
Is there anyone out there who’s lost a credit card or had their account temporarily closed? How did you go about making purchases until you received your new card? Let us know in the comments section below!