Credit Cards

Plugging the Holes in Your Budget

by The Happy Rock on June 3, 2010

The following is a guest post by a dear friend Ed(@ed_bruner) who is just months away from finally getting out from under $40,000+ in debt. Use cash to plug up the holes I assume every family budget has holes in it.  Ours did.  The holes were mostly unaccounted spending or personal spending…a trip to a retail store, a lunch out, snacks, etc.  These “little”spending events can destroy a budget or even derail your debt reduction if they are not kept in check. The way we handle this issue is by allowing ourselves weekly spending cash. The rest of the income […]

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Rethinking Credit Card Rewards – Are They Worth It?

by Debt Destroyer on October 25, 2009

5% cashback sounds good right? Or does it? Baker at Man vs Debt, recently posted on why he doesn’t use credit cards. His personal morals don’t allow him to support an industry that he doesn’t agree with.  I thought he made a great case and I applaud his ideals (I can relate since I’m an occasional idealist as well).  But will it change my mind on credit cards rewards? Hmmm…that’s a tough one. I primarily use a Discover card. As many are aware, Discover card offers cashback on all purchases. In addition to that, they run quarterly specials that offer 5% […]

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Are You Ready for Some Financial Football?

by Debt Destroyer on September 20, 2009

Woo-Hoo!  Football has finally started! Better yet I got to watch my favorite team, The Washington Redskins, on TV(This is a big deal when you live in the middle of nowhere and you only have three channels).    But let ye football gods strike me down because I ended up watching more of the US Open than I did the pigskin. The way I figured I only had one more day of tennis left on TV, but I have 20 more weeks of football. Besides every time I turned to the football game, the Giants were kicking butt, so I […]

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Remember Traveler’s checks? Do People Still Use Them?

by Debt Destroyer on April 25, 2009

Yee-Haw! The Debt Destroyer clan finally got out of Dodge (meaning we took a quick vacation over Easter break).   And with such a trip, there are all the last minute preparations you need to take care of before leaving. Making sure the kids are all packed up. Making sure the van is ready to go. Bring snacks, DVDs, & music for the trip. Drop off the dog. Get Traveler’s checks(cheques). I crossed the last one off because it’s the 21st Century. While I might pretend to be a pretty cool cat, I’ll admit to being old enough to have […]

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Paying Off Credit Cards With The Credit Card Snowball

by The Happy Rock on April 8, 2009

This is a guest post by Trisha Wagner.  Trisha is a freelance writer for, where you can compare rates from dozens of banks in one place. Trisha writes regularly on the topics of personal finance and saving money. Credit card debt is among the hardest debt to pay off once you have accumulated it. Not only are the interest rates pretty high, but most people use their cards regularly, which means they add to the balance just as fast (or faster!) than they make payments on them. If you make a payment late or charge more than your available […]

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$500 Credit Card Cashback In A Year

by The Happy Rock on March 2, 2009

I just recently received another $250 from my Chase Freedom rewards card.  The check arrived almost exactly on my one year anniversary of signing up for the card.  I have some unspent cash back still on the account, so even accounting for the $26 dollars in charges for an 8 hour late payment I still made $500 this year.  In reality I only had to earn $400 in cash back rewards since Chase still adds $50 to a $200 check request.   A nice little perk for funneling our cash purchases through a credit card and paying of the balance […]

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Removing Finance Charges From My Chase Freedom Credit Card

by The Happy Rock on February 16, 2009

After two months of procrastination, I finally called Chase to ask that they fully remove any finance charges related to my first time late payment offense.  Did I ever mention that I hate making phone calls even if it is just calling a service rep that I don’t know to get late fees and finance charges removed?  The introvert in me often hopes that avoiding the calls will make them go away…that rarely works. The thing about this charge was that it left me seething.  Every time I thought about it, I got upset.  Upset because: One 8 hour late […]

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Credit Cards Make Purchases Cost More

by The Happy Rock on January 30, 2009

Here is another strike against credit cards.  Not only do they often cause us to spend more, but they make merchants charge more to cover the credit card processing fees are usually 2-3%.   The best cash back credit card that I use can end up costing merchants even more because credit companies pass an extra fees to cover the rewards which then  gets passed right back on to the consumer.   Americans spend an estimated $50,000,000,000(500 billion) in processing fees, almost the cost of one stimulus or bailout package. Here is the scoop from True Cost of Credit : Rewards cards […]

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Crafty Creditors Are Making Changes

by The Happy Rock on January 14, 2009

This is a guest post from Tisha Tolar is a freelance writer providing content for, where she regularly writes about credit cards, rewards programs and general consumer finance issues. ****** As the economy remains rocky and the credit card industry works through the crunch, it is important for consumers to take heed and pay more attention to what they are getting in the mail. Per law, credit card companies can change the terms of their issued credit cards provided they send notice 15 days prior to alert customers of the impending changes. Due to the credit crisis, many credit […]

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Holiday Spending 2008 – DD’s Quick Recap

by Debt Destroyer on January 2, 2009

I hope you are all enjoying the holidays.  For those of you who haven’t, the good news is that they are over. Long time readers might remember that I mentioned my Christmas Budget technique is to save up our cashback credit card rewards and use that money on presents.   This year we had $420 to work with. Let’s see how we did: $90 – Our kids $100 – My folks $75 – Wife’s folks $57 – My family $78 – Wife’s family $30 – Angel Tree Gift Total = $430 We only missed our goal by $10, not counting […]

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