Now that we have paid off a number of debts, including most recently our car, we have decided to use one of our two remaining credit cards as a dedicated gas card. It has a decent rebate program on gasoline purchases, but we are really using it for convenience and will pay it off when the bill arrives.
My wife was the first to use the card at a local gas station, and she later told me that she did not like the feeling she got using the credit card. Now keep in mind that we have not charged anything in over a year, but have been swiping our debit card when cash was not convenient. Frankly, I was a little surprised to hear her tell me that using the credit card “stung a little.” Neither of us had a problem swiping it before last year!
So now we are in the process of weighing whether or not 5% back on gasoline is worth normalizing the use of credit cards again. Perhaps we’d be better off to stick with the debit card. Or perhaps this is a good time to show debt who’s boss, and prove that we can control the spending on credit cards. We’re still undecided, but I’ll keep you posted.
The Frugal Roundup
The Myth of the Parent that NEEDS to Work. A thoughtful response to the notion that two parents need to work to get by. Often times the second parent wants to work, and that’s fine, but be honest about the intentions rather than blaming it on financial necessity. (@Brip Blap)
An Introduction to Money Market Accounts. Money market accounts are like forgotten gems in the world of personal finance. For a long time, no MMA could touch the rates on other types of savings account (particularly online savings). However, as J.D. explains, in a few occasions they do offer higher rates, and can be a great place to park short-term cash. (@Get Rich Slowly)
Your Home is Not an Investment – Don’t Treat It Like One. I think many of us have come to this realization over the last several months, but the question is, will the lessons last. Jeremy makes several good points in this post regarding the true costs of home ownership compared to the investment potential. (@Generation X Finance)
Ten Great Ways to Make Powerful Visual Reminders of Your Personal Finance (and Other) Goals. I’ve used a number of visual reminders over the years. From huge wall charts tracking our debt balance to a list of classes I needed to take to complete my undergraduate degree after returning to school. (@The Simple Dollar)
Simplify Your Life By Bartering for What You Need. Bartering is one of those frugal skills I really should brush up on. The idea of trading an item with someone else so that the transaction is mutually beneficial to both parties is an exciting idea to me. Unfortunately, it is something I rarely practice in my world, but I’ll work on it. (@On Simplicity)
What To Expect in Traffic Court. First-hand account of a day in traffic court. While I hope to never find myself in traffic court again, these tips will certainly be helpful if I do. Yes, I spent a little time there as a teenager for speeding and excessive window tint – I was a real rebel! (@Bargaineering)
How to Make Today Memorable. The last few weeks have been insanely busy at my full time job. When that happens I feel like the days are simply sliding by without me having much to say about the outcome. This article provides some great ways to generate key moments throughout your day so they stand out as remarkable. (@Marc and Angel)