How I Ended My Toxic Relationship With Credit Cards

Saturday, February 27th, 2016

Do you know the signs of a toxic relationship? You feel out of control, just not yourself anymore. The air is thick with jealousy and lies, criticism and contempt. You might feel fearful much of the time. You’re passive aggressive in your communication.

That’s the relationship I had with my credit cards. But I’ve learned to break free of my toxic credit card relationships and create new, healthy ones. Here are three signs you’re in a toxic credit card relationship, and how to recover.

You’re telling lies. They might be lies you tell yourself, like “I can afford to pay off this card, just as soon as I get paid. It’s fine to buy these new shoes and charge them to my card.” Or they might be lies you tell your credit card customer service representative, like “I didn’t realize I had maxed out my card and was going to be charged and over limit fee.” Whatever the lie is, it’s a sign that your relationship with credit isn’t good. Honesty is the key to any relationship. Once I started coming clean with myself, my financial reality improved leaps and bounds. I began by sitting down and making a budget—tracking exactly how much income I’ve got, and how much I’m spending. I wrote down what my credit limit is on each card, and how much I owe. Then I got real about what those numbers meant. Now I’m honest with myself about what I can and can’t afford, how much I’ve charged to my credit card, and how long it’s going to take me to pay it off. And it feels great! Honesty really is the best policy.

You feel critical of other people’s financial behavior—and of your own. Criticism can really wear a person down. Often, when we feel critical of others’ behavior, it’s really just a sign that we feel bad about ourselves. Sometimes I’d see a friend charging a shopping trip to her credit card, or paying for an expensive dinner for all her friends with her card, and feel critical of her financial decision-making. But really, it was all about me. I knew that my credit card and financial behavior was not stellar, so I was turning that criticism outward. Anytime you feel like criticizing someone, that’s a red flag to look at your own behavior. And if you feel critical of yourself, stop beating yourself up and change your ways! That’s what I did. I actually became very aware of what I was thinking at all times—especially when anyone pulled out a credit card, or talked about money. When I had a nasty, critical thought, I stopped myself and wondered where it came from. Analyzing my thoughts led to some real revelations about my own credit card behavior.

You feel out of control. This is the hallmark of a toxic relationship. You no longer feel in control of your own life. You may not even recognize yourself anymore, because you’re making decisions based on fear and panic. Feeling financially out of control is one of the worst feelings there is. If you feel like this, contact a nonprofit credit counseling agency to get back on track. It’s one of the best things I ever did. Now I’m out of debt and happily using rewards credit cards to get the most from my money. You can too!

Latest Other Card Guides

What You Need to Know About EMV Chip Credit Cards October 6th, 2015

If you’ve been reading about the changes in credit card payments lately, you might be wondering how it’s going to affect you.
Continue »

Credit Card Rewards You Could Be Missing Out On April 26th, 2015

Are you getting all you can out of your credit cards? If you’re collecting rewards points and not using them, you are missing out on one of the best perks of having a credit card.
Continue »

How to Evaluate Credit Card Offers October 13th, 2014

When you see a credit card offer how do you know if it’s a good one? With so many different credit cards on the market, it can be difficult to know where to begin in evaluating the latest credit card offers.
Continue »

5 Signs You Aren’t Using Credit Cards Enough April 28th, 2014

If you pay for most of your purchases with cash, checks or debit cards and shun your credit cards, you probably think you’re being fiscally responsible.
Continue »

Double Your Credit Card Rewards With Online Malls November 1st, 2013

One of the best things about using credit cards is getting cash back. Most cash back credit cards give a minimum of 1% cash back on all purchases, with 5% back in rotating categories each quarter. Some give 2% or 3% in a certain spending category, such as gas and restaurants, ...
Continue »

Best Credit Offer
Click the Compare link to compare the checked cards side-by-side at the comparison table.
Consumer Rating: 4 / 5
Pacific Credit Group Emporium Black Card
Copyright © 2001-2016 BestCreditOffers.com All Rights Reserved.

* The BestCreditOffers.com webpage is a free service and an information resource for credit cards and financial products and services available to eligible United States consumers. BestCreditOffers.com does not offer any warranties and is not a direct service. There are no guarantees for approval or offers when applying for a credit card. Please refer to the application if you would like more information on each credit card. When you click "Apply" for a particular credit card, please take the time to review the terms and conditions of the product/service at the issuer's website. All logos on the BestCreditOffers.com website are property of their respective owners.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all info is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for terms & conditions.

BestCreditOffers.com makes every effort to keep information up to date and accurate. However, the information regularly changes and is presented without warranty. Therefore, we strongly recommend all our readers to visit the credit card application page by clicking "Apply Online!" button to review the detailed credit card's terms and conditions. Note that BestCreditOffers.com may be compensated by the credit card issuers when the readers apply for a credit card through this site.

BestCreditOffers.com is an independent, advertising-supported website which receives compensation from the credit card issuers and companies whose offers appear on the site. Compensation may impact how and where products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear on the site pages. BestCreditOffers.com does not review or list all available financial or credit offers.

User Generated Content Disclaimer: These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.