With their wide acceptance by merchants and their ease of use, credit cards foster living beyond your means by extending credit. That’s why I recommend that you cut up all your credit cards and call the card issuers to cancel your accounts if you’ve had a habit of accumulating debt on credit cards.
You can manage your finances and expenditures without having a credit card. Now, if you can trust yourself to be responsible, keep one credit card only for new purchases that you know you can absolutely pay in full each month. But if you decide to keep one widely accepted credit card instead of getting rid of them all, be careful. You may be tempted to let debt accumulate and roll over for a month or two, starting up the whole horrible process of running up your consumer debt again. Even better than keeping one credit card is getting a debit card (see the next section).
If you’re not going to take my advice to get rid of all your credit cards or secure a debit card, be sure to keep a lid on your credit card’s credit limit (the maximum balance allowed on your card). You don’t have to accept a higher limit just because your bank keeps raising your credit limit to reward you for being such a profitable customer. Call your credit card service’s toll-free phone number and lower your credit limit to a level you’re comfortable with.