The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Discover cards give cash back

MoneyI heartily believe that about 85% of Americans shouldn't have credit cards.  If you've ever paid a fee on your credit card, it's costing you money.  If you've ever used a credit card to pay for an "emergency expense" you should cut it up now.  If you don't obsessively comb over your credit card bill every month to check every charge, dispute any problem, then pay your bill in full, you might as well stick with cash.  Of course, if you mind having all of your intimate purchasing details in the hands of a big company, you should skip this tip too.

But, for the other 15% of you, sign up for a Discover card and start raking in the cash.  Discover has a cashback program which gives you 1% to 5% of your purchases back as just plain cash.  Don't fall for their affiliate program where you can turn your cashback into purchases at your favorite stores --- those are impulse buys and you don't need that stuff.

To make a Discover card work for you, I believe you should have 3 to 6 months of emergency money stashed away in a savings account.  That's the money you spend if something drastic and terrible happens, rather than pulling out your Discover card.

That said, use your Discover card for every other possible purchase.
  We keep our expenses very low, but still end up getting nearly $200 of free money every year.  If you're keeping track at home, that's an infinite return on our investment since we didn't spend any extra money to get it.

This post is part of our Frugal Living Tips lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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