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Living without Credit Cards

The two biggest concerns people seem to have with living life without credit cards are; what will they do in an emergency and how will they be able to reserve a car or a hotel room?

Below is some advice on how to plan for these situations:

Emergencies: If you stop and think about it, how many of your current credit card charges were actually for emergencies? Rather than continue to pay interest and fees for the privilege of having and using a credit card, start saving to build up a cash reserve. Use your debit card or look into online banking to pay bills and make normal monthly purchases. Put 10% of your pay into a savings account. If an emergency arises, try to use your savings rather than increasing the balance on your credit card.

Traveling: If your debit card has a Visa or MasterCard logo, you can typically use it to reserve a hotel room, a car or purchase airline tickets. The key is planning; take the time to determine how much your vacation is going to cost and begin setting aside money specifically for that purpose. Also, make sure you have enough funds in your account to cover the hold (the amount the hotel or car rental business charges you to guarantee the reservation).

When you are traveling, use traveler’s checks (considered the same as cash, but protected against loss and theft) or your debit card. Just be sure to track where you are spending money so you stay within your limits.

Training yourself to live without credit cards can be difficult, but the rewards are great. Rather than paying interest and fees to someone else, the money you earn is your own.

To learn more ways to save money and live without depending on your credit cards, visit / or call a certified credit counselor at 1-888-282-5899.

Published Apr 25, 2008.