When I started researching this topic, I came across all these blogs by people explaining why they loved their credit cards so much. I can’t say I really understand it, but it’s all a matter of taste. Some people love the safety of it, the convenience, the cash-free lifestyle. It’s not me. I cut mine up with evil relish, wallowing in the joy of each snap. Here’s why.
Delayed Financial Pain
Some people can pay their credit card bills in full every month, without having to abstain from eating for a week. What can I say; it’s just not how I roll. The instant gratification with delayed pain scenario feeds into my evil shopping personality. As I believe it was intended to. After all, credit cards are a business and people get rich off supplying them. I doubt they would be making such big bucks if everyone faithfully paid off their cards and never paid interest.
It’s Too Convenient
And yes, I am from Generation Y. What, exactly, is wrong with cash? Once cash is gone, it’s gone. There’s no way I can cajole more of it from an empty bank account, I just have to make do. And next time, I won’t make such cavalier decisions. Credit cards muddy those waters, allowing you to make bad decisions and delay the fallout until such time when the whole edifice comes crashing down.
It Targets Financial Weakness
I know a lot of these things are really my own personality, and not really the fault of a piece of plastic. That said, credit cards are set up to target financial weakness and the financially weak. The business of a credit card is to get you into a place where you rely upon it for necessities, as well as non-essential purchases.
This may sound cynical, or bordering on conspiracy theorist territory, but how many people do you know who pay for their groceries every week with plastic? Sure, it’s their financial patterns that are to blame, but a credit card company will feed off those patterns. Not nice schoolyard behaviour if you ask me.
It Inflates The Economy
My whole soul leapt with joy when I had something, other than selfish reasons, to pin on the plastic fantastic. David Randall from Forbes reported that research from Yale has shown that, while credit cards improve the efficiency of transactions, they also increase inflation. Namely, they “lower the value of money even as they increase its viability”. It makes sense really- sellers increase costs according to demand, credit cards allow you to purchase more and increase demand, thereby making the money in your bank account less valuable as it can purchase less.
It’s Not Necessary
Since the dark days of cutting up my card, I have started a whole new relationship with smart cards. They act like a credit card but debit straight from my account. It’s like finally dating someone who acts like a good boyfriend, and is a good boyfriend into the bargain. Credit cards, to me, are a bit like ostensibly charming partners who see other people (like big bad credit companies) behind your back. Life doesn’t need to be dramatic. There’s a lot to be said for sticking with small purchases, no debt and a card that’ll treat you right.