We’re all guilty: We want to go out to dinner, buy those boots, or book that trip. We have no cash, so we throw it on a credit card. That’s what it’s there for, right?
Well, yes, but you are doing yourself no favors in the long term says self-made billionaire Mark Cuban.
“Cut up your credit cards. If you use a credit card, you don’t want to be rich,” the “Shark Tank” star wrote on his blog in 2008. “The first step to getting rich requires discipline.”
This is advice even Cuban didn’t always follow. As he told Business Insider in 2014, “credit cards are the worst investment that you can make. That the money I save on interest by not having debt is better than any return I could possibly get by investing that money in the stock market.
“I thought I would be a stock market genius. Until I wasn’t. I should have paid off my cards every 30 days.”
Credit cards are very dangerous for those of us on a budget because they make it very easy for us to spend money we don’t actually have. And as you only have to pay back a small portion of your balance each month that leads to tons of interest costs.
Cuban’s solution is to ditch the plastic, in a way.
“Get the credit card because it’s great to help you build your credit score early,” the bestselling author and self-made millionaire tells CNBC Make It. But use it responsibly: “You don’t have to use a credit card a lot to build your credit score — you just have to pay your credit card bills on time and pay those cards off in full every month.”
So it’s not so dire. You can use those cards, but make sure you never carry a balance and only buy what you can afford.