Would You Ever Cut Yourself Off?

Are cutting credit cards up a new recession trend? The Atlantic thinks so:

“Cutting up credit cards is a classic solution to the temptations of easy credit, but as Americans have become more and more reliant on plastic, there’s been a resurgence of interest in swearing off credit entirely.”

For those looking to cut back on mindless spending, ditching your Visa might seem like a triumphant move—you’d have to really think twice about the purchases you would have ordinarily made with it, plus the act of snipping the card might feel freeing. Yet, you might want to think twice about making the cut. Use the same mindless spending mentality on your debit card, and you’ll wind up with overdraft fees, which, one financial blogger notes, is “just another name for ‘short term loan.'” And, reports one Atlantic writer who tested out a credit-free life, paying for things in cash can get … weird:

“It’s also hard to spend cash, because so many people look at you funny when you try. The very first day, I spent almost 20 minutes trying to check out in the “better dresses” section of a department store. The saleslady stared at the hundred-dollar bill in her palm as if I’d just handed her an eel. After a series of plaintive looks at my obviously card-free wallet, she started stabbing at the cash-register keyboard with a sort of bleak despair. To my immense surprise and relief—and clearly, also to hers—the cash drawer eventually opened.”

Our very own editor-in-chief, Amelia, tried this approach once, but points out that if you know your credit card number by heart, you can still shop online (which, let’s face it, is where a lot of our money goes).

Could you survive without a credit card? Do you survive without one? Think cutting yours up would amount to more trouble? Sound off in the comments after the jump. [The Atlantic]