We’re Done with Credit Card Debt

Credit Card Debt…Be Gone!

This post will be brief…I just wanted to share some good news.  This week we paid off the last $500 balance on our Visa credit card.  We had carried a balance on a number of 0% rollover cards since 2009.  At its peak, the balance was $10,000.  By rolling our credit card debt to 0% rollover cards, we were able to avoid most credit card expenses:  interest and late payment fees.  Every month we automatically sent in payments using our bank’s Bill Pay service.  However, owing anything to a credit card company is NOT good; thinking and worrying about credit card debt definitely affects your psyche.

In the future, we plan on using our credit cards sparingly.  That shouldn’t be so hard since we make most of our purchases these days with our debit cards.  We prefer debit cards because they seem to moderate our spending and encourage us to be thrifty.  (Watching our checking account balance steadily diminish over the course of the month seems to keep our spending and consumption in check.  On a debit card you can’t spend what you don’t have!)

If you don’t have any credit card debt, congrats and good for you.  If possible, avoid credit card debt at all costs; it’s usually a first step towards debt slavery.  If you are dealing with credit card debt, good luck paying them off and reclaiming your financial freedom.    


Useful Resources: Companies and Services that We Actually Use.
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Investing:  The majority (90%+) of our money is invested at Vanguard.   If you know of a better low-cost option, please let me know.  Why Vanguard?
Net Worth Tracking:  We use Personal Capital to track our various accounts.  Personal Capital is an great way to aggregate all of your financial accounts at one easy-to-use website.  (If you have less than $100k in assets, please register with this link.)
Banking:  We have used USAA for our checking and savings accounts since 1997.  We also have checking and savings accounts at three credit unions:   AlliantElements Financial, and Navy Federal.  Finally, we have an online checking account with Simple.
Health Savings Account:  We use Elements Financial to access commission-free, low-cost Vanguard ETFs at TD Ameritrade.
Phone Options:  My wife loves her $10 a month plan at Republic Wireless (new plans now start at $15 a month).  I had the same plan and liked it too, but unfortunately I broke my phone in Mexico.  I currently use a WiFi-enabled phone at a cost of $0 a month thanks to three Google apps: Voice, Hangouts, and Hangouts Dialer.  We also have a Skype subscription with its own number for unlimited U.S. calls ($80 a year).
Travel Rewards:  If you'd like to learn how to get "free" flights and hotel rooms, take the free course at Travel Miles 101.  When we slow travel, we use Airbnb to find low-cost, month-long rentals.  Whenever possible, we try to use Uber instead of taxis.
Credit Score/Report:  Here are some websites with free services to verify your credit history:  Credit Cards / Credit Sesame / Credit Karma / Annual Credit Report
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