When is it OK to use your Credit Card?

When is it OK to use your credit card? Some might say never, and with consumer debt topping 1.7 trillion dollars this year, maybe they’re right.* But why are credit cards so bad, and is going all cash really the answer?

Credit Cards Distance You From Your Spending

People spend more when they pay with their credit card. It’s inevitable. When you pay with cash, you feel every penny. You only have so much cash on hand and each dollar you spend is a dollar less in your pocket. This direct connection with your spending keeps things in perspective. Spend $50 bucks on eating out this week, and you’ll feel the emptiness if your wallet by the end of it.

In contrast, when you pay with a credit card the payment happens out of context. You spend $5 on a sandwich one day, $6 on a burrito the next, and nothing adds up. Not until the end of the month when you’re hit with a $300 bill that you don’t understand, and may not have the money to pay in full.

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FAQ: How Can I Track My Debt in EEBA?

Update

EEBA is now Goodbudget! Goodbudget has all the great features of EEBA (and more!) in a new and updated interface. Check out our updated article on this topic, and check out the Goodbudget Help Center for the most recent help content.

Q: I’ve decided to finally pay off my credit cards! How can I use EEBA to keep track of how much I owe, how much I want to pay, and how close I am to achieving my goal?

Paying off debt is a great financial goal. You may feel the pinch in the short term, but in the long run you’ll save money and enjoy greater peace of mind. With EEBA, you’ll have two options when keeping track of your debt.

Option 1: Track the Balance of Your Debt (Plus/Premium)

If you’re on the Plus or Premium plan with EEBA, you can use Accounts to keep track of the balance of your debt as you pay it off. Here’s how:

Step 1.Create a Credit Card Account for Each Debt
Head to the Accounts page to create a new Credit Card Account for each debt you want to track. Enter the balance of the Account as a positive number, equal to the current balance that you owe.

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