Credit Woes and Freedom

Yikes. Did you read the news about how a radio frequency reader can be carried through a crowd, reading your credit information then emailing it across the globe?  It’s alarming and confirming that I made the right decision to live without credit.  This information apparently applies to newer cards with radio frequency, but it has spawned another solution industry – a protective sleeve so the frequency cannot be read.  If you are still living on credit, be sure to check your statements daily and look up RFID blocking or credit card shields.

Here’s another reason to end credit card dependence.  The freedom of budgeting.  Does that sound like an oxymoron?  It isn’t really.  Budgeting is planning.  When I plan for how to use our funds, I can more easily say no because I want to reach the goals that we set. One method is Freedom pages.

Freedom Pages are something Mary Hunt teaches in her Debt Free Living books and website.  These pages are a division of your savings so you don’t only have an account for emergencies (which you continually empty if you are like most of America), but you have a page for any expense that might come due more than a month away – Car expenses, home maintenance, insurance, taxes, medical deductibles, personal items, etc.  Knowing that funds will be there when needed reduces a lot of stress and is as visual as a clear cookie jar – you know what you really have left to spend (if anything) on other than budgeted items.

There is just something different about handing over my last $20 as opposed to handing over a plastic card and assuming I will figure out how to cover the bill when it shows up.  It’s been interesting this week to look at things with a new eye of asking is it worth it.  One cool result was deciding one item was not worth the price and walking away.  3 days later the same item was on sale half price. I feel like I won that battle.

Now onto something I dread even more: the closet.

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