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My parents were some of the most thoughtful spenders I know, and they always got the most from their credit cards.
They taught me that credit cards can be valuable for daily use, but that paying interest essentially negates any perks you might get.
They also taught me how to treat credit cards as part of my emergency fund, and that credit card "hacking" is really only effective if you're willing to put in the time and effort to do it right.
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My parents have always been some of the most thoughtful spenders I know: My mom knows when all the double coupon days are, and my dad prefers to get needed household items from deep discount stores. They aren't brand-driven usually, and they are happy with whatever is on sale. This is why, looking back, I'm impressed with their ability to use credit cards.
Over the years, they taught me to have a healthy respect for the power of credit cards: the seduction of carrying a balance and ending up in over my head wasn't a good thing to them, but the perks of credit cards when you pay the balance in full every month were quite nice.See the rest of the story at Business InsiderNOW WATCH: Animated map shows where American accents came fromSee Also:I'm a former banker and I teach my kids 5 lessons about money I've found some adults still don't knowI earn more than 1 million points a year. Here are the 5 credit cards I always keep in my wallet to optimize my spending.I pay over $4,000 in credit card annual fees, but I'm happy to. Here's why it makes sense for me.
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