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When I Tried to use my Credit Card…I Couldn’t


I’ve mentioned a few times that we do still use our credit cards. I have a designated card to use for online purchases and we used one during our recent trip. The “rule” is that we can only charge what we can turn around and pay immediately. So far, that has been going great and we’ve been sticking to it.

Today, we decided to go shopping with my son so he could make his list for Santa. It turns out that today was a one-day sale at the one store and they had some nice deals still available. I took a notebook with me and wrote down what my son wanted as well as the price. Since I had an idea on the price for a few things from looking on the internet, it was just a matter of checking out the prices among the local stores.

A few things that he picked out I knew I wouldn’t be able to find somewhere else at a lower price. One thing was on clearance for 50% off and it was the last one available. The other thing was 30% off for the one-day sale.

My husband took our son over to a different section of the store and I grabbed up the two items. Along the way I see that there is a coupon for $3.00 off any toy when you purchase two packs of batteries. What a good deal! I couldn’t pass that up, so the batteries were stacked on top of the other goodies. The total amount was now at $70 (OUCH).

My order was rung up and I took my credit card out of my wallet. I knew I couldn’t turn around and pay that card immediately. I have my home repair to pay for next week and I didn’t know when my health insurance would be due. I had to save our money until I knew more. I could probably pay it off before any finance charges were accessed, but there was a little shadow of doubt looming above on that.

I felt horrible swiping it since I was breaking the rules I had established for myself. As I hit the “Ok” button for the amount…there was no going back.

Until…the card was denied!

Perhaps a little bit of fate intervened right then and there because the card I had in my wallet was an expired card! I didn’t put the new card in my wallet.

I felt my whole face turn red probably out of embarassment of having my card decline and for trying to break my rule. I told the cashier that I have another card that I can run (my debit).

And with that…I was forced to pay with CASH for the purchase.

I could have put the items away, but they were things that were going on his list to Santa and they were at great prices. I was nervous to use the money in our checking account, but part of me wanted to do it just to teach myself a lesson! And that lesson is NOT to use the credit cards unless we have the money to turn around and pay the card immediately.

When we got home, there was some great news in the mail. More on that in a little bit…


  • Reply Ralph |

    I thought that the lesson was that using a CC responsibly means paying attention to your finances – including destroying the old card as soon as the new one has arrived 😉

  • Reply Tricia |

    Ralph – very true. I should destroy the old card, but instead it sat with the other credit cards in a safe place. I just grabbed the incorrect one to place in my wallet. I used to use a different card, but the one I replaced it with has cashback so at least I was trying to now make money out of my credit cards.

    As you mentioned, another lesson learned 🙂

So, what do you think ?