Keep Your Credit Cards Out of Sight to Save Money, Suggest Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyers

Some people have coin collections. Others collect baseball cards. Some folks, like my boyfriend, collect guitars.

I happen to have a credit card collection. Fortunately, I haven't opened any new accounts lately - I know better. But once upon a time, I was clueless. If a store offered a 15 percent discount or members rewards to apply for a card, I signed right up. You probably know what happened next - I spent beyond my means, had too many bills to keep track of and wound up damaging my credit and getting into some serious debt. It's a pretty common tale.

So why do I still have them - cards for Nordstrom, Target, Best Buy and the Gap - when friends in my same situation have since cut up their cards and closed their accounts? Because I've learned that, for me, out of sight is out of mind.

I don't need to risk further damaging my credit score by canceling accounts. I don't need to destroy my cards, either - some of them could still come in handy in an emergency (OK, probably not the department store cards - but my Target Visa, for instance). Now, this may not work for everyone. But I've found that by keeping my credit cards out of my wallet and in a safe place in my house, I forget that they're there.

Credit cards are about convenience. It's easy to spend beyond your means with plastic because you don't see any money being exchanged (again, out of sight, out of mind). It's just the opposite with cash, my new currency of choice. When I started cashing the portion of my paycheck that I could afford to spend, I got a lot better at minding my budget. With cash, you see every hard-earned dollar leave your hands. When you go into the grocery store with $50, you're not going to spend $100 -- even if you're shopping on an empty stomach. And when you only have $20 left in your wallet and you need it to get gas, it will be a lot easier to talk yourself out of stopping by Starbucks or the fast food joint for a little snack.

If you routinely spend more than you earn, you're going to wind up with debt. And your best way out of that debt is to leave the cards at home. It might not be easy - if you've racked up a lot of debt already, it can seem difficult to get by on your current paycheck. But continuing to use credit will only make the problem grow. You need to make a change now - and bankruptcy might be the most logical way to do it. At DebtStoppers, our Chicago and Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys can identify a financial plan that's right for you at no cost - just sign up for our free one-on-one debt analysis. Once you trade debt for financial freedom, I guarantee that credit card collection won't seem so appealing.

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