The Credit Card Time-Out

Note:  This is an old post I wrote a few years ago when I was still doing my Stampin’ Up! business – that explains all the references to stamps and stamping.  I gave it up about a year ago and financially it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done.  I haven’t stamped hardly a thing since and I’ve only spent about $20 on stamps this whole year.  Quite an improvement!  

I found a post on one of my stamping forums the other day that really got me thinking. This lady was declaring a 90 day spending moratorium because she had been overspending and wanted to get it back under control. She was asking for support and to see if anyone else wanted to join her in her pledge. What I found surprising and very thought provoking were the somewhat negative comments she was getting back. The gist of most of the messages that were posted was “No way! I’ll never stop spending. I couldn’t possibly! And besides I deserve it. Look at how much money my husband spends on ___ “.

I thought that was kind of an interesting attitude. Lord knows, I’ve had my ups and downs with money. In my life, I’ve been deep in debt more times than I could count, managed to climb back out of it – inch by painstaking inch, and sure enough, I usually put myself right back into it in record time. My mother was quite the shopaholic and I’m sure I come by these tendencies honestly. 

Image courtesy of Pixomar /

But sometimes you have to really step back and think about the big picture. How does your debts and your spending affect your family? How does it affect your future?

I know mine does. There are lots of times when I’m spending the bulk of my check on utilities and credit card payments and other things get the short end of the stick. Not groceries – I like to eat too much to skimp on those, but extra money for vacations and stuff for the kids, and dinners out, and all those “extras” that make life so much fun.

And if I look at the credit card bills, it’s mostly MY stuff. Not stamps, thank heaven! I made a deal with myself long ago that my business had to at least be self supporting, if not actually a contributing factor. If I want to buy something for my hobby, I have to sell enough stamps to pay for it. But I LOVE cute clothes – both for me and the kids, and little doodads for the house, and sometimes dinners out or movie nights end up on the credit card, rather than out of pocket like they should be. So it just adds up and up and before you look around, you’re out of control again!

Now, I don’t mean to sound “preachy” or anything. Writing is the way I kind of think things out and get them out of my head and if it helps you too, so much the better, but spending is a very personal topic and I would never tell anyone else what to do. I can just tell you, I’ve been on the debt side and I’ve been on the not-debt side, and I’ll tell you, the not-debt side is SO much more fun!

So, I’m putting my credit cards into a “time out”. They’re sitting in a drawer right now and they’re going to have to stay there, at least for the next 90 days. We’ll give it a little time for the dust to settle and get them paid down a bit, and if I want something, just like my stamps, it’s a cash deal or it’s NO deal!


  1. Good idea! We have one credit card and I have one bill that goes to it. pay it off immediately. And if there is something that I want to purchase and feel safer using a credit card than my bank card I make sure I can pay it off immediately. Really our credit card is for emergency use only, not to buy other things. But that’s not always the way we operated. It took hard work to get to this point.

  2. My husband and I have been talking about it. I may simply just take out a certain amount for groceries each week and declare a spending freeze. We could stand to do that!

  3. That’s a really great idea! Even better if I could make my husband do this! LOL

  4. I say, “way to go”! I have cut back on my spending recently! It’s not easy, but I love the 90 day plan because if it is a habit that would break it! Hmmm…I am thinking about trying this.

  5. Thanks dear Jen! You are a great friend!

  6. hey girl, you’re beginning go talke just like me…. hahaa…

    thank you for this posting. it is very eye opening. yes, I too spend more that most people can save for rent in a month. I too has been on the “in-debt” side and no way am I ever going back…. I am very proud of you, and support your 90 day hold. I’ve made a commitment to never buy if I don’t have the cash for it. So far, it’s been working – thank the lord!!!! In your honor, I will refrain from posting anything new that I’ve bought within these 90 days, cause i don’t want you to have any withdrawals….. hang in there…

    lots of hugs,

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