I was reading a post on MoneySavingMom titled We are debt-free. No thank you It was an interesting story from a guest blogger, and it focused on how the author was able to get rid of her debt by ditching credit cards. I do recommend your take a look, especially if you are struggling with getting out of debt yourself. I’m always happy to read stories of folks changing their way of thinking and taking control of their life when it comes to finances.
But I have to take issue with the overall message, as in “Credit cards are evil. They will get you into trouble, guaranteed.” I think it’s overly simplistic. I do understand that the idea behind MoneySavingMom is to help moms (and dads) to stay out of debt and optimize savings. And let’s face it, overall, credit cards have done more harm than good in this country. I get it.
Still, does the notion of “credit cards are evil” hold true for all families? Absolutely not. This blog is a proof of that. Just read some of my trip reports where we were able to vacation for pennies on the dollar. And it irks me when I see others in this hobby suggest that regular folk (read SAHM) aren’t capable of reaping benefits when it comes to miles and points. That they aren’t smart enough, disciplined enough etc.
I am your regular, run-of-the-mill SAHM
I live in a small town, I stay home with my kids, and we make less than $65K per year. Yes, very average. I am by no means a genius, but I’m not an idiot either. I certainly think I can handle doing basic math, and resist buying things I can’t afford. And frankly, I find it offensive that someone would reduce me to a stereotype and determine my ability to handle credit because of who I am and what I do.
There are many middle-class families just like mine. They are responsible with credit and pay bills on-tme and in-full. They can benefit greatly from maximizing credit card rewards. If you followed my blog long enough, you probably know that this is my main focus. It’s not the bonuses, but rather finding ways to leverage your everyday spending and renewing cards that give a decent perk every year. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that for an affiliate blogger, it’s not the best profit-maximizing strategy .
Yes, personally, I focus on sign-up bonuses, but I would never suggest that most folks should do what I do. That said, who am I to tell others how to do things? I’m not anyone’s babysitter, and this isn’t my call to make. Last year, I read an article in consumer advocate blog where a lady has reached out to the author. Apparently, she signed up for several credit cards (via advice from a miles and points blogger) and got into debt. She was wondering if she could sue that person. Are you kidding me? What happened to personal accountability, folks?
I’m not saying this industry isn’t full of sleazy practices, but this is absurd. When you buy a car and can’t afford to pay for it, do you sue the dealership? When you buy a vacation package and end up in debt, is the travel agent to blame? My own policy is this: I recommend credit cards and products I personally find worthwhile. Whether they give me an incentive or not is irrelevant. And believe me when I tell you, I have never worked this hard for this little pay in my entire life. But I really do like helping families find ways to travel more.
I’ve said this many times: You are your own best advocate. You should always take everything with a grain of salt, especially when it comes from an affiliate blogger. Do your own research, don’t let this hobby take over your life, and enjoy special memories with your family. Boom.