Alternatives to Credit Cards

by : Matt Schaub

The Future: Not "In The Credit Cards?"?

Just the fact that you're doing something about your credit problems now bodes well for you. So what will your financial future look like once your current debt is off your record? Could it be a future without credit cards? As radical as that sounds, it's a definite possibility!

Let's look at what a future "not in the cards" might mean for you.

You might even see it as a positive challenge.

Alternatives to Credit Cards
The best alternative to a credit card is to have no credit cards at all. How would that work?

  • Make sure you set financial goals for yourself every month and only spend money when you have money. Use a check card. A check card is one of the best alternatives to a credit card. The money comes straight out of your account. That means you have to keep up with your finance as it happens. Of course than means you have to make sure you are aware of your daily balance. Sound difficult? See below.

  • Computers can help. Software programs like Intuit Quicken or Microsoft Money can help you keep track of your daily expenses. Disciplining yourself is a bit easier - even fun - with a computer program acting as your daily partner. Then again, a computer program is only one idea. Believe it or not, people managed to keep track of their money before the days of PCs! So you always have this next alternative:

  • Use the old fashion method of just balancing your checkbook. And you don't have to totally deprive yourself of computer fun with this method either.

    Most banks offer online banking to give you up to date financial information. Always remember the bills that have to get paid each month and stay on pace with your goals.

  • Make sure your spouse, or a good friend or relative you can trust, knows what you're trying to do for yourself financially. Set up a weekly "check-in" process with a willing "money-partner." Give you partner a copy of your financial information. If you're doing your record-keeping part, a few minutes each week will be all it takes to make sure you're staying on track.

After a sufficient time you may prove to yourself and your money-partner that you can responsibly handle your bills. That's when you might consider reintroducing - GRADUALLY - credit cards (starting with one) into your life.

You will be a new, financially responsible person.

Best of all, you will be reclaiming your financial future.