Time warp back to 2009, and you’ll find yours truly, a recent college grad ready to take on one of the scariest financial plunges for any young 20-something: opening a credit card. I had heard of all the risks, and while scared beyond reason that I would forget to pay one month and a) be penalized with extremely high interest and b) ruin my credit, I still signed up because I thought I needed it to build credit. I began by using it only for gas, but after a law was enacted in 2011 that caused most companies to end their debit card rewards programs, I started paying for most of my expenses with my credit card. Hey, if I was going to be spending the money anyways, I might as well earn a little cash back on it, right?
If you’re a listener to the popular finance guru Dave Ramsey, you’d know that he would probably call me an idiot for doing so. Per his philosophy, credit cards are the root of all evil, causing you to spend more and pay ridiculous amounts of interest if you aren’t responsible with them. And for that, he’s got a point: