My FIRE Journey: I Stopped Using my Debit Card

Last year, I started credit card churning when I learned of it and have been paying all of the bills that I can, using points credit cards, ever since. A couple of months ago, I was looking through all my points cards (credit cards that give me rewards points) to plan out a trip for later this year when I was struck by a revelation: why am I using my debit card for anything? I mean, when I think about it, I get nothing for using the card other than the privilege of not having to carry cash. Well, my credit cards accomplish the same thing, only I get rewarded for using them.

This revelation literally blew my mind, and I haven't used my debit card since. Every purchase I make gets put on my points credit card of choice. Even though I pay for things strictly using a credit card, I have some self-imposed rules that make this work.

1. Just like I would with my debit card, I only spend money on my points credit cards according to the balance in my bank account. I pay my bills, I buy groceries, I purchase household supplies, and whatever else I spend my paycheck on. 

2. While I haven't written a check in years, I have always used a checkbook register to log all of my debit card purchases and withdrawals from my account. This way, I know exactly how much money I have to work with at all times. So, while I use points credit cards now instead of my debit card, I still deduct each purchase I make on my checkbook register.

3. Last, but not least, I pay off my points cards before the bill is due so I don't incur any interest fees. Now, this is what I was doing anyway, but it's still a hard and fast rule.

I continue to apply all of my thrifty ways so I can save as much money as possible on my road to FIRE. In other words, I still keep my spending to a minimum, but now I use my points credit cards instead of my debit card. It's just another way that I make my money work for me.



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