A friendly challenge - Credit Cards vs. Cash Showdown

Written by Sam on September 26, 2006 – 7:06 pm -

I’m a big fan of Ramit Sethi’s personal-finances blog iwillteachyoutoberich.com. It’s no secret that he spends everything on his credit card (paying it off every month) and is opposed to a cash-based budget. About 4 weeks ago, I read a transcript from a chat he conducted and found the following question and response:


Q: what do you think about not spending anything on credit cards? everyone else is in trouble so why not use cash only!”

A: that advice is not for smart people who read personal-finance blogs. i hate that ad-vice because it panders. it assumes, “everyone else mismanages credit cards, so you probably will too” ARE YOU A MORON I WANT TO YELL answer: no.

For the past few weeks I couldn’t get this statement off my mind. It’s one thing to have a strong position ;-). It’s quite another to insult those who follow a perfectly legitimate and arguably superior system of financial management.

To resolve this issue, or at least let the blog-reading community decide for themselves, I challenge Ramit to a good-spirited showdown: Credit Cards vs. Cash. Ramit can present the credit-card arguments and I’ll present the cash/debit arguments. The readers on each side can also chime in. I read a similar showdown about productivity a while back and thought it was useful.

Please leave a comment and let us know what questions or views do you have about credit cards vs. cash? What questions would you want to see addressed if a showdown takes place?

If Ramit accepts we’ll decide the terms, time, and format. Let’s have Ramit express his spirited feelings in a more articulate and useful way.


Posted in Budget, Budgeting, Budgets, Cash, Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Finance, Finances, Money, Personal Finance, Spending | 26 Comments »

How to control and track your spending effortlessly

Written by Sam on July 11, 2006 – 7:10 pm -

Occasionally a family member or friend will ask me how I manage my finances and how they can get started down a path of financial control and peace. Getting control of your finances can be a daunting task. Finances are one of the biggest sources of stress and can cause deep rifts in relationships. The fact is, thereís no quick fix when it comes to managing your finances. It takes time and must be done step by step.

One of the first steps of sound financial management is tracking your spending. Once you track your spending and are able to see where the money goes, itís easier to attempt to control your spending. How can you control something when you have no idea what it is you need to control? The bottom line is, tracking your spending goes hand in hand with controlling it.

Read more »


Posted in Budget, Budgeting, Budgets, Cash, Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Finance, Finances, Money, Personal Finance, Spending | 19 Comments »
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