Couples and individuals find that this step has helped them spend significantly less and save money. Dr. Billy Richardson, a Los Angeles veterinarian, used his six credit cards to pay for everyday items, furniture, televisions and pricey dinner tabs. After graduating, he had stopped using a debit card and balancing his checkbook, things he done through high school and vet school. He was able to still pay off his credit cards and accumulate points for free travel and merchandise, even when monthly balances reached $1,000, $1,500 and $2,000.
"I lost that frugal spirit," he says.
He decided in 2007 to reduce his credit cards from six to none. He and his wife, Nikki, now balance their checkbook and use a debit card for purchases. "I know I was spending way more than I needed to because there was no emotional attachment," Richardson says.
The decision to cut up credit cards is controversial. Issuers may eventually decide to close the account if the card isn't being used. The closure of a credit card account could cause your available credit to drop and your credit score to suffer, possibly hindering your ability to get a home loan or car loan.