Why you don’t need this kind of credit card stress

Let’s talk about credit cards and stress. I only carry one credit card for a bunch of reasons, and one of them is that I don’t want the stress of having more than one card. (If you need to carry a separate card for business, that’s different. I’m talking about personal cards.)

But recently, I was in a store and I’m embarrassed to say that I let the clerk talk me into saving a bunch of money on my purchase by opening a store credit card.

I knew I was doing something stupid as soon as I agreed to this, but I thought, well, the card will let me save 10 percent on all of my purchases, and I shop here a lot, so I rationalized why it was OK.

But it wasn’t OK.

I’m sharing this with you because if you want to simplify your life, you have to always be mindful about how little stuff causes you stress. And then you have to do what you can to get rid of that stress. After all, a bunch of little stressors add up major stress, and that is not good for your mental or physical health.

Why I closed the card a month later

Here’s what happened to me, and here’s why I closed the card a month after I opened it.

I have always carried just one credit card and until recently, I got airline miles with it. I just changed it to getting cash back, but that’s not my point. My no-stress system is this:

  • I set it up with my bank to automatically pay the balance each month, so I never have to worry about it and I never carry a balance.
  • I also set it up for auto alerts so the second I charge anything, I get an instant email. The whole system has been no stress.

But then I opened the store credit card. All of a sudden I’m getting a paper bill in the mail. All of a sudden I have another bill to think about. All of a sudden I have a new bill deadline to think about. All of a sudden I have one more thing on my to-do list, and one more thing swirling around in my head.

I started getting stressed over this. I know it’s a small thing, but like I said, most big stress comes from lots of small things.

Suddenly I didn’t care that I could get 10 percent off of my purchases at that store. I didn’t want the stress. I felt a million times better after I closed that card. Saving 10 percent is not worth it to me.

10 reasons why it’s smart to have only one credit card

If you truly want to simplify and de-stress your life, here are a few more reasons why you ought to only have one card:

  • With one card, you only have one spending limit on that card. You can’t go crazy with your spending and wind up over your head in debt.
  • With one card, if you want to apply for a loan such as for a mortgage, you’ll have a better credit score because the bank will see that you only have access to credit from one card, rather than two or more. Banks know that when people have access to increased amounts of credit, it’s easier for them to get into spending trouble, and that’s why your credit score can suffer if you have more than one card.
  • With one card, you can easily keep track of all of your spending in one place.
  • With one card, when you want to return something, you know exactly which card you used for the original purchase.
  • With one card, you have only one to track if you lose it.
  • With one card, you have only one bill per month.
  • Get a card that gives you either airline miles or cash.
  • Get a card with no annual fee.
  • Be sure to set it up so you get auto alerts each time you make a purchase. This way you can keep track of your spending to make sure you’re able to pay the balance each month, and you’ll be alerted if someone else tries to use your card.
  • Be sure to pay your card off each month. I highly suggest that you set this up as an auto pay with your bank to pay the balance in full each month. Then you never have to worry about it.

There really is no need for more than one personal credit card.

1 comment

  1. I BELIEVE YOU!❤ We (husband and I)will only apply for one card each & serve as authorized users in order to double tap the credit building power, just one.

    Love this post!

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