Wednesday, October 21, 2009

{canceled & shredded!}

I have a little but typical-of-Gussy random story to share. Oh, who am I kidding? This is going to be semi-long.

I had a rewarding experience yesterday.

Zack was setting up the router for our wireless internet and I was sewing and prepping new products. Let's just say I had a lot of time on my hands. I decided that since I was already sitting there, and it was after 9 p.m. {free cell minutes}, that I would tackle the credit cards sitting next to me on my desk. They needed to be canceled and shredded!

I'm going to be completely honest with you all.

Are you ready?

We have one credit card balance. It is from when I was in college {bahhh!, too long to be carrying around, but that is our situation}. It has a balance from purchasing my iMac and a D-SLR. Yeppp, not a proud moment here, but it's the truth! And I'm proud to present the truth.

However, and please remember this because you can experience it, too, I HAVE NEVER PAID INTEREST ON THESE TWO ITEMS! I was sure to sign-up for a 0.0% APR for 12+ months and have done balance transfers to continue the zero-cost credit card experience.

That's right, I haven't paid these companies a dime {aside from balance transfer fees, which are at most $50}. If you dig, sometimes you'll be surprised at what you find.

{I better stop with the facts and figures or I'll get myself in trouble because I'm not a cred-card guru girl, just a sewing Gussy girl.}

With doing credit card transfers we've obviously had to open up new credit cards because the promotional periods have expiration dates, but we have never used them. In fact, our most recent card isn't even activated! The only debt Zack and I brought to our marriage were student loans, this credit card, and a car loan {which is now paid off, thankyouverymuch!!! :) }

I am so incredibly proud that we do not use credit cards. If you are in the same boat as us, I'm incredibly proud of you, too. If you aren't in the same boat, I'm incredibly proud you're still reading this! Please stay with me here...

I haven't used a credit card since 2005? 2006? I believe Zack has never used one, but I can't recall. It is an incredible blessing to not be slaved to a credit card company. Would you like to be free of that? I bet you would {and you can!}.

Like I mentioned above, I was sewing last night and I decided to call these companies to cancel the credit cards. They all have $0 balances and are doing one thing for me: making me freak out over potential credit-card fraud. We don't use them; I glance at the monthly statements to make sure the balance stays at zero, but I don't need to be wasting time on this when we don't even use them.

I have ruffles to sew, right?

Right :)

I needed to make four calls, which lead to my rewarding experience:

"Hi, I'd like to cancel my credit card. {pause} Because I have a zero balance. {pause} Because I don't need it. {pause} Because we use our debit cards. {pause} No, thank you, I'd like to cancel my credit card please. {pause} Thank you.

One company definitely argued this with me. Because I was prepping items I had the call on speaker phone. Zack eventually came up to my phone and said "Ma'am. Ma'am! We'd like to cancel the card please."

Maybe if my voice was deeper I could have done that, too? What do you think? ;)

Another company actually said to me, "Can I ask you something? What will you do in an emergency if you don't have a credit card?"

My reply: "Pay with cash! Hello, use our emergency fund?!"

{What will you do, Mr. Credit Card man?}

A third company simply said, "OK" after I told him I wanted to cancel. That was National City. That bank deserves some applause from Gussy for not arguing with me. Seriously. I'm applauding them.

As I type this I'm sooo giddy to say that all four cards are canceled, shredded, and out of our lives forever!

I was told last night on the phone, But our cards are fee-free!

No {laugh}, they're not, because fee-free doesn't mean interest free. And if they have interest, that is not free! I may not like math, but I know the value words have.

Credit = expensive.

The fact is we have enough money to buy the things we need and want, pay our bills, and save with cash. We sit down twice a month and go over everything. Most times we have to organize, push-and-pull, maneuver things around to buy something big, but we can and we do it with the money we already have, money we've already earned, and when it's purchased it's paid for. We are not a slave to our purchases. I bet if you sit down and look your finances over you can figure out a way to let go of anything that slaves you.

So that is my Gussy has a lot to say story. Do you have a story to share? I love to be inspired but it; I hope you can find something inspiring in your life, too.


Valerie said...

Great post Gussy!

Hubby and I have credit cards but we don't really use them either. I have a personal one that I keep on hand for work purchases. We have a joint CC and he has his own CC. We paid them all off at the beginning of this year and only charge specific items. It's helped a lot to not be a slave, per say, to credit cards. It can quickly turn into a downward spiral.

Katie said...

Congrats!! I hate when I owe money on a credit card, it is the most panicking feeling! So great job!!

the Lost Earring said...

This sounds wonderful! I don't like credit cards either and we are a rare duo who uses them to buy and pays them off each month :) I totally relate with how much the creditors pressure their customers to stay! It's kind of scary.

Are you concerned at all about your credit after closing the accounts? I ask because I've read time and time again that it's good to keep some accounts open for the sake of your credit score. Sorry to get all technical on you, just wondering if you guys considered that aspect?


Jenn Bull said...

You made my financial counselor heart so happy!

And in case the Lost Earring comes back to don't need a credit score if you pay with cash. It's, as Dave Ramsey says, a Debt score...

So so happy for you!

bmolavi said...

Awesome! I'm proud of you!
What I do is have a credit card that does not exceed what I earn every month, so I just pay the balance. . .
It's like using my cc as a dc so i'm doing ok like that. . .

Megs said...

that's awesome maggie! i HATE credit cards. i have a horrible story about my credit getting totally screwed over recently, but there is not the space to write it out here! joel and i never use our cards anymore, but both still have huge balances. it is way depressing how much goes toward interest every month!

on a positive note, we were able to purchase a MacBook Pro last month with CASH!! it was a truly glorious moment. we have both come along way since the beginning of the year - that's for sure!!

Kimberly said...

My comment is about Macy's department store. Did you know that starting November 1, if you use your store credit card, interest begins after you make the purchase - the same day! There is no grace period. And, you might want to check your interest rate. That's outrageous. I am going to cancel my store card.

Maggie Whitley said...

Kimberly ~ that is DISGUSTING about Macy's. Hopefully people will see how vomit-like credit cards are. YUCK. Gives me the shivers.

Kate said...

Maggie, that is so great! Cingrats to you and Zach! I saw your comment on my post, and it made me smile. I can't wait till we're in that position :-)

Peach Rainbow said...

i got to read this only today, and i am so proud of you!

So many people i know have fallen into debt because of this credit card nonsense. it just makes people buy things they can't afford and crave for things others possess.

we have never had credit cards, for some this may sound strange but i think anybody who thinks deeply would understand the credit card company lets you buy stuff for credit, do that, not because they love you!

i think its better to lead a simple life and buy things only when we can really afford to. And that can bring lots of mental satisfaction than a house full of items which are not ours!