If you are new to the world of saving money through credit card purchases, it can seem a bit daunting at first. I know that I avoided taking on a credit card for a long time, simply because I felt that I did not want to risk going into debt. In my mind, I knew that credit cards would trick me into spending money I did not actually have. And I did not want to get into the downward spiral of ever-increasing debt. But I did not realize that having a credit card can not make enough of a difference in your spending habits alone – it is your mindset that affects whether you will be in debt or not. And once I finally realized just how much a credit card could do for me, I never looked back.
In fact, beyond never looking back, I became a credit card advocate after I began benefitting from American Express cards and Groupon Coupons. My American Express card does cost me $79 per year to have. That number made me think twice before signing up, but I quickly realized the math was in my favor. With 6% cash back on every grocery store purchase, and a family that spends over $2,000 at the grocery store each year, I was going to get back $120 from grocery store purchases alone. As long as I remained diligent about using my American Express card at the grocery store check out, I could be sure that I would come back with $40 in the balance. And that was just at grocery stores. By using the card at the gas pump, I get back 3% on every purchase… that ends up being an additional $30-50 each year. If I make sure I use my card on all other kinds of purchases, including online, I get 1% back. All in all, our American Express card brings us several hundred dollars in hard cash back each and every year. It is almost impossible to express how silly I felt after I realized that I had blown thousands of dollars in cash back over the years by not signing up for an American Express card sooner!