31 Days: Zero Credit Card Debt

31 days of financial savvy at eatprayreadlove.com


So, if you’ve been following this series, you may be wondering “Why be wise financially? Isn’t it just easier to whip out a credit card and go for it?” Well, it may be easier at the time, but paying off those credit cards over the years will NOT be easy and will cost hundreds- even thousands- of dollars in interest.

I have a secret– we do have a credit card. But in the 3 1/2 years we’ve had it, (I was 30 and Ben was 33 before we got our first CC!) we only have paid interest twice- once was an error on my part in the billing date, and another time was when we were re-financing our house. We needed all of our cash that month for the closing costs, put paying roughly $100 in interest for that month is more than worth the $60,000 in interest on our mortgage we’ll save in 15 years!

cc statement

So our bill that month was approximately $4,200. If we paid only the minimum payment, we’d be paying for 18 years, and the total would be $11,289! That’s more than 2.5 times the amount the original bill. If you have a credit card, look and see if you have the table like the one below that tells how much interest you’ll be paying. It will be a motivation to get rid of that debt as quickly as possible!

So think about it the next time you’re out shopping. Sure, that dress is on sale for only $30. But if you put it on a credit card, and only pay the minimum amount, that “cheap” dress could end up costing you $75! Not so cheap anymore.

zero credit card debt It's possible! Buying stuff on credit cards and not paying them off each month is like saying your buying something on sale for $15 that normally cost $10. It doesn't make sense!

And “just say no” to store credit cards. Unless you have impeccable restraint, that 10% you’ll save at the time you sign up for the card will be obliterated when they start charging you 24.9% interest. We’ve only signed up for two store cards- one for Lowe’s when we were remodeling our first house. It had 6 months of no interest and you better believe I paid that baby off before 6 months! See, the game they usually play is that if you don’t pay it off during the term they give you, they charge interest for the whole amount, not just the amount you have remaining. Tricksters!

We also got a store card at Toys’R’Us in order to buy my son a four-wheeler for his 5th birthday. The 20% percent off that we saved was significant- around $60- and I paid it off before we even got the official card in the mail. Then I cut it up and never used it again.

So while credit cards can be good- points, anyone?- you need to have the discipline to set aside each month what you’ll need to pay off the entire balance monthly. Any other way, and those “points” and “% off” are actually costing you money, and it’s like saying a $10 item is on sale for $20. It just doesn’t make sense!

What is your opinion on credit cards?

About Kelli Hays

Kelli Hays is a wife, mother, writer, and friend. She has been blogging since 2008 and loves sharing inspiration for the everyday woman!


  1. My husband has a credit card, and we definitely use it for the points–we paid my tuition bill every month at school with it to rack up some major points, but we’ve never paid interest, we pay the bill ahead of time every month. Our rule is that if we couldn’t just as easily pay cash for whatever we’re buying, we don’t use the credit card. I’ve seen people get into credit card debt that kept them down for a long time, and that seems to me almost like a kind of slavery–to have a debt that just keeps getting bigger hanging over you.

  2. Greetings! I’ve been following your blog for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out
    from Porter Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the
    fantastic job!


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