First post, need some advice.
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  1. #1
    Registered User ryst's Avatar
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    Default First post, need some advice.

    Hello everyone.

    I have an interesting moral dilemma. Maybe moral isn't the right word. Maybe it's an "emotional dilemma"?

    Either way, here's the background:

    My whole adult life up to a few years ago (I'm 36), I've struggled with money and debt. I was always in and out of debt and never really had control. I thought debt was a part of life.

    Then I got married. We've been married for 9 years. My wife wanted us to put our money together when we got married but I refused because I didn't want her to take on any of my debt. For the first 5 years of our marriage we had our finances separated. It wasn't until 3-4 years ago that I realized I was wrong. I found Dave Ramsey's teachings and it changed my life. I got out of debt and as soon as I did we started putting our money together and got on a budget. We did a budget for a while but then stopped. We just weren't focused. We were enjoying our new life in LA and were kind of care free. Exploring new restaurants, new places to go and new things to do. We never got into any debt (actually our equity doubled) but we just weren't budgeting. We were still careful, but when you're not on a budget, money disappears.

    However, we recently re-focused and are back on track with the budget. Finding out our equity doubled without focusing was interesting and it made us more excited now that we are back focusing. We just started our retirement funds and are also saving up for a house. By the numbers we are doing well. No debt, 6 month emergency fund, money in the bank, and saving more.

    Here's my problem. My wife has ALWAYS been responsible with money. She's always been frugal, always been a saver, and knows how to stretch a dollar. BUT, she has always used a credit card for certain things. She believes that she can take advantage of the points that credit card companies offer. She has ALWAYS paid her balances off in full each month (never carried a balance), never missed a payment, and has never been in debt.

    Because of my experience with debt and cc companies, I HATE credit cards, and most banks. They make my skin crawl.

    My wife uses cc mainly for her blow money spending and occasionally for some of our bills. But again, they are paid off in full.

    What bothers me is the fact that she uses a cc at all. Currently she wants to take advantage of Chase's 5% cash back for gas purchases.

    On one hand, it's not fair to me because I hate credit cards. But on the other hand, it's fair to her since she's never had a bad experience with them since she's always managed her money well before we even met.

    What would you do? Is this something I should let go since there isn't an issue other than my distain for credit cards? Her cc use has never affected our budget, our spending, or our bottom line.

    It's just the act of using the credit card that bothers me. I'm so scarred from it that even the mention of it makes me sick. We are on the same page for most everything else in life but this. I'm torn between letting go and trying to convince her about the evils of credit cards.

    Any input would be great. Thanks for reading.
    Last edited by ryst; 09-01-2013 at 06:10 AM.

  2. #2
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    Just let it go. You said yourself that she uses the credit card very responsibly.
    Find something else to fret about.

  3. #3
    Moderator Ceashels's Avatar
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    It seems like you want to impose your loathing of cc onto her. Don't. LET IT GO.

    It sounds very middle school mentality when you think about it. I had a bad experience with cheeseburgers when I was younger so I don't eat cheeseburgers so you can't eat cheeseburgers either. kwim? If you keep forcing the issue with her she'll start wanting you to shuddup about it and that will cause resentment.

    Perhaps she doesn't feel comfortable carrying the cash with her?

    I'm a big fan of DR, Greebo and I have been following him since 2009. It took us lots of debt and his recurring inability to use cc's responsibly for me to make an ultimatum. (If we refinance the cc debt into the house the cc's MUST go.) I don't use cc's to begin with but it was a big adjustment for Greebo, if he was a responsible "user" I wouldn't have a problem with keeping one but the debit cards work fine for us so we'll stick with it.

    If it is physically making you ill then you've tied too much emotion into your past issues with cc's and you need to deal with it. It isn't about fairness: "well if I can't have one she can't have one" You know what DR would say to that. LOL

    Most everyone I know who listens and follows DR has modified the plan to fit their family needs. Keeping the peace is more important than forcing your wife to give something up just to make life seem more fair to you.

    So my best advice to you is let it go.

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    Super Moderator josantoro's Avatar
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    you have a wife who is careful with money, pays off her CC every month, and gets cash back on her purchases. Now what was the problem again??

    Buy the lady some flowers and count your blessings.

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    Registered User alaska_tiger_36's Avatar
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    I say pick and choose your battles. And I agree with the others that this shouldn't be the battle you choose to fight. The end result of both methods is the same - the bills are paid on time and no fees are incurred. Plus, with her method, she gets points to get something she wants for free. With my significant other I ask myself 2 questions - 1. Will matter in a month and 2. Does it have to be done or be done my way. Those answers always help me put things into perspective.

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    Registered User Nadders11's Avatar
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    I say let her use it, get some points and be happy she can handle a cc. If you don't want to use one, don't. You can use cach or debit and not ever touch one.

    We follow DR in theory and his plan has helped us immensely but we do use a cc and pay it off each month. You and your wife have to make your own plan too.

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    Registered User CookieLee's Avatar
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    My first instinct is to remind married couples that the person who says "no" is the person who gets their way. However, this isn't a discussion as to whether or not your wife should start using credit cards, you have already said "yes". A decade later you want to change your mind? I can give you an example of a different topic and you tell me if it makes the situation more clear. You and your wife belong to religion-A. You have been going to services regularly, full participation, tithing, the whole deal. Ten years into your marriage she announces that she wants to switch to religion-Z but only if you switch with her. You say "no". Case closed. However, if ten years into your marriage YOU say, we're switching to religion-Z and she is the one who says "no" it is also case closed.

    In the credit card debate, you married her knowing that she used credit cards responsibly. You're the one switching to religion-Z - the no credit card belief system. She is saying "no" and will continue with her religion-A of believing that credit card companies can be used to the consumer's advantage.

    My only advise is to continue to budget monthly. If she ever stops showing you the credit card statement or you suspect she has suddenly started to use a new credit card account, it is time to have the "come to Jesus" talk. Otherwise, I agree, buy her a bunch of flowers (with cash) and thank your lucky stars you found her.

    BTW, without owning a house, I'm not sure what you mean by "your equity increased".

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    Registered User Ramona's Avatar
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    I agree with josantoro, and roses are always welcome.

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    Registered User Debbie-cat's Avatar
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    Let it go and welcome to the village!




  11. #10
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    As everyone else has already suggested, let it go. If you can't do that, you might consider finding a good counselor to talk with, as it sounds like you're still healing from a lot of guilt/regret about your past.

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    pb
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    If she has never had a problem, then let it go, just don't us it yourself-if it makes your skin crawl. We are big fans of DR however, we do use one credit card for airfare etc. for our college students. I have had the same card for 20+ years and never paid one cent in interest or annual fees. As a women I feel this is important to maintain a credit card in case of an emergency. As long as she is transparent about what is put on it and it is paid off monthly, then I see no problem.

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    Registered User Rosebudget1's Avatar
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    I agree let it go. I use credit cards. Your wife has been using credit cards with no problem. Don't rock the boat. I too follow DR but don't adhere to all his teachings.

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    I would be interested to find out if she spends less living on a cash-only basis. Even if people are careful with their credit cards and paying them off in full each month, they do spend more than if they only used cash. This is something Dave Ramsey said. But would she spend more on gas? Or does she use the credit card elsewhere too?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brilly69 View Post
    I would be interested to find out if she spends less living on a cash-only basis. Even if people are careful with their credit cards and paying them off in full each month, they do spend more than if they only used cash. This is something Dave Ramsey said. But would she spend more on gas? Or does she use the credit card elsewhere too?
    Eh. It doesn't sound like she needs to spend less. It sounds like she and the OP just need to draw up a budget. That might have the effect of reducing spending for both of them, but it sounds like they're moving in the right direction as it is.

    Also, I think Dave pulls out that study a bit too often. In my case, I use my credit card for just about every purchase but am still tight as a drum. I wouldn't spend a penny less if I went all cash. And I get to fly a couple places for free every year as a result. Obviously, if ccs are a problem for someone, then they should stay away from them. But there are a lot more people in my position than Dave lets on.

  16. #15
    Registered User ryst's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the input, guys! You're all 1000% right. I need to let it go. I shouldn't let my past mistakes affect what she does responsibly. So I'm letting it go. I really appreciate you guys taking the time to give me your input. And for those wondering, we are on a budget and our budget is done before the month begins so no extra money is spent because of credit card use vs cash. We already know what we are going to spend.

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