Why I Don’t Have a Credit Card

old fashioned cash register

I’m 24 years old, I graduated college without any form of debt, and I’m a shopaholic. So no, I don’t want to tempt myself with a credit card. Everyone keeps telling me that credit rules the world, and I know that’s true—but it doesn’t make me rethink my decision to not have a credit card.

If I have trouble resisting the temptation with my debit card and its limited funds, then I know I would really struggle with a credit card.

I know how easy it is to swipe a card to buy a $20 item that you don’t actually need. I do it all the time with my debit card, and I always regret the decision a week later when I’m low on funds and need that 20 bucks to buy some food. If I have trouble resisting the temptation with my debit card and its limited funds, then I know I would really struggle with a credit card. I don’t entirely trust myself with the power of a credit card.

I’ve watched my parents use credit cards my entire life, and it doesn’t seem that fabulous. The bill always comes in the mail at the end of the month, and my dad always grumbles about the interest and how much debt the family racked up. I think I’ll pass. I firmly believe that if you can’t afford to buy something outright, then you absolutely don’t need it. I like to buy nice clothes and shoes (boots specifically), but I prefer to save for those items. If I can’t save up $200 to buy a pair of suede over-the-knee boots, then why on Earth should I use a credit card to buy them? I’ll still owe that $200, plus interest. I’m sorry, but that’s just dumb.

Patience and self-control are some things we should all practice a little bit more.

I prefer to wait and think about the thing I think I want. If I don’t have the patience to stash away a couple bucks every day in order to be able to pay for it in cash, then I don’t actually want that item. Honestly, I think patience and self-control are some things we should all practice a little bit more.

I don’t feel guilty when I pay for something with the money I’ve saved. When I save up for an item, I’m prepared to hand that money over to the cashier. It doesn’t interfere with my savings or stress me out on the days leading up to a credit card bill. It’s paid for and I don’t have to worry about how I’ll survive financially.

Yes, I know you need credit to be eligible for certain things, like purchasing a home. But credit cards aren’t the only way you can build credit.

Just because everyone else is doing something doesn’t mean that I should do it. If credit cards work for you, then that’s great, but they don’t work for me. I don’t have any interest (pun intended) in being a part of the credit movement. Yes, I know you need credit to be eligible for certain things, like purchasing a home. But credit cards aren’t the only way you can build credit. You can build credit through your utility and rent payments as well.

If you save up enough money to buy a home in advance, you don’t have to apply for such hefty loans. Instead, you can pay a larger down payment and get a smaller loan based off of other types of credit. There’s also the argument that credit cards are useful in emergency situations, and I agree. However, if you make sure to put away money specifically for emergency situations, then you don’t actually need a credit card.

Stash money away in your savings whenever you can so you can shell out $500 on a new bumper if needed. As long as you take the necessary steps to be prepared for an emergency, then you don’t need a credit card. Credit cards have some obvious benefits, but their drawbacks far outweigh them in my opinion. It might put me at a slight disadvantage when it comes to new leases or other new things, but the peace of mind I have knowing that there is no way I’m racking up debt is worth it. I’m also learning how to better work for and manage my money, and that’s a priceless lesson.

Follow Terra on Instagram: @terrabrown3

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