Are credit cards evil?

One thing that Financial Peace University (Dave Ramsey’s course in personal finance) gave me was a perfect hatred for debt. We had a few “discussions” about George’s unwillingness to give up our American Express card as he had frequent business travel expenses that required him to rent cars, reserve hotel rooms, etc. He taught me how to use those perks without having to pay interest. I’ve learned it isn’t “evil”; credit cards are financial tools that can be used wisely or foolishly.

We now use a Costco Visa like a debit card. YNAB lets us assign each purchase to a budget category. YBAB doesn’t care if it’s a debit card or a credit card. It still requires that a spending category be associated with the transaction. That keeps us accountable and on budget. Costco’s Visa allows us to make a payment every day that there is a balance so we just keep it paid in full. I often make a payment every day. That way it feels like cash and it keeps me checking the budget and staying on track.

The Costco card gives a generous rebate tied to your purchases. Since we buy most of our fuel and groceries at Costco and since we run most of our purchases through this card, the rebate is usually about $500 a year. That’s a lot of money to us and we deposit it directly into our Money Game fund when it arrives.

This wouldn’t work for us if we didn’t use YNAB. Most people advise that you spend more if you use a credit card. We found that doesn’t happen as long as we track it through YNAB.

Fuel is under budget for the week giving us a nice little power up of just over $25.

Today’s Deposit: $25.13
Level Completed: 175 out of 251
Amount Deposited this month: $1,750.77
Total Balance: $25,665.91
Our Money Game fund has increased 7.32% so far this month.

$1,143.46 is needed to reach the next level

New? Start here …

Google Doc spreadsheet showing all 250 levels of the Money Game

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