It is insanely difficult to break habits especially when one grew up not knowing otherwise. Our generation has grown up knowing that credit cards are part of life. It is no fault of our own but as we are becoming smarter than the credit card companies that are making money off our poor habits. It’s time to start small and break those habits.
You can search the internet or “The Google” and find lots of articles that can provide you with the pros and cons of using a debit card vs credit card. That is not my intent for this writing. However, take time to do your due diligence and research about using debit cards vs credit cards. My intent is to help you change the habit of using credit cards to using debit cards so that in the long run it will uproot the misconception of credit that has always been a part of our lives.
As a husband and dad, every day I continue to learn how to use positive reinforcement. As a parent, I usually catch myself telling my kids what not to do and seldom instead tell them what to do. Hence, why the title to use debit cards instead is not a coincidence. The beauty of this psychological phenomenon is that it works. Also remember, we are running a marathon to change habits which takes time and we must start somewhere.
So why use a debit card to start with? It is not rocket science.
1. With a debit card, plain and simple, you spend your own money.
This gets you in the habit of using money that you already have and worked for. It will also reinforce making a budget that plans your spending for that month. Creating the budget is probably going to be a big huddle in trying to break the habit of relying on credit cards. So, be patient with yourself and keep at it.
2. A debit card has the same protections as a credit card.
Yes, it will be harder to obtain your refund in case of a fraud charge but that is because this is money your money. Companies that evaluate the risk want to make sure it is an actual fraud. With a credit card, it’s not your money and the banks are already covered for such, so it’s easy to refund that money.
3. Most debit cards now have the rewards that credit cards have.
I will be honest, using this point of rewards is to drive the point home that credit cards are not any better. I am not encouraging you to go rouge buying all sorts of things in order to obtain points. Use your money wisely. Remember the debit card is money you already have. We are fighting the war and not the battle.
4. Stating the obvious, avoid DEBT.
We see how our own country is fully engraved in debt and we have the audacity to complain about it, yet in our own homes, we do the same thing. The irony in that alone blows my mind. Stay away from debt. Be content with what you have and plan with what little or more you have. There is winning when you have control of your personal finances that are based on being debt free.
The time has come to have our actions follow our words. Our generation was handed a bad hand of accepting debt to be part of our life, that was not our fault. What we do about it is up to us. And if we keep in our ways and let this continue falling into the credit ideology, that is our fault. “We are what we repeatedly do” – Aristotle.
Break the habit, put your credit card to the side and try using a debit card for three to six months. Do not be quick to give up. Just like going to the gym for the first time, you will not see results in the first days but you persist and in six months you see the change. Give the debit card a chance, use your own money, break the habit of relying on the credit companies. Control your destiny with money you have well earned.