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I pay my cards off every month, collect rewards and avoid fees which is why the credit card industry crowned me with the title: Deadbeat. As a debt-free type of human, I understand why their bottom line is in a bunch. Deadbeat means less profit. 

If they are going to sling that kinda name, I am going to take it, roll around in it, and smile as I cash in their rewards. Considering the credit card industry charges a criminal average of 16.15% APR, I am happy to assume the title and rebel against their bottom line.

Deadbeat Defined

I love the titles I have acquired: Veteran, Park Ranger, Chief of Unicorn Division. Deadbeat was a title I never pursued but like a jealous coworker who can’t help but hate my birthday cake, it was a title granted by the credit industry.

Deadbeat is a slang term for a credit card user who pays off their balance in full and on time every month, thus avoiding the need to pay off the interest that would have accrued on their accounts.


I prefer to think of it as a level mastered in my personal finance saga.

As with any title that is haphazardly acquired, I can’t help but see the humor in a large industry having catty terms for those brazen enough to refuse conformation to their bottom line. I’m happy to rebel against a lifetime of credit card debt.

Financial Rebelling

There have been a few instances where I have cashed in the rewards of rebelling. I conform in a vanilla way too many things in modern society. In a few instances, I get a burst of adrenaline when I find a cause worthy of a Star War’s rebellion.

Once a lifetime ago, I joined an all-male division in the Navy. Another time I obtained my motorcycle license when I should have saved myself the mental angst and avoided anything involving tiny tires and high speed.

I’m more stubborn than a cow that refuses to be tipped.

Paying fees on a credit card lands in this fiery world of indigestion. While enveloped in this smoldering state, I bring out the Jolly Roger and prepare to take no-fee prisoners. Prepare to meet your fate APR!

All Budget & No Bust

One of the many weapons I use to battle a credit balance is an intense budget where I track purchases down to its measly cents. Initially, this was as pleasant as a brisk dental cleaning. It took many (MANY!) months before I enjoyed opening my budget and looking at the fanciful numbers in happy amusement.

The careful tracking of money flow allowed a deep understanding of how much to spend and save. If I had a surplus from an underused category, typically fun money or gas, I divert it to my travel or early retirement slush fund.

If I end up burdened with overspending on a deluxe cot that promises comfort and envy, I adjust my course by going on a no-spending spree. There is no emotional lashing, berating, or yelling of angry inappropriately used words. I accept my mistake, realize it happens because of my human condition, and pour that energy into devouring financial literacy.

Twice a month, I pay off my credit cards which keeps my utilization down and helps my credit score. In full financial nerdiness disclosure, I love the end of the month when I pay off my credit card because I calculate my net worth too.

I began tracking my net worth last year, and it has been fun to the point of illegal. Every month my net worth has gone up by $200 or $5,000. It’s an amazing slot machine where I win all the time, every time.

Scoring Wins

At the end of each month, I cash out my cashback. There is zero interest to be made as it sits in its holding cell. The least I can do is give it more freedom in a savings account, and let it make friends with interest.

I use credit card rewards to build up the Adulting Adventures fund which is a sinking fund for my adult-like activities including paying insurance, gifts, and the eventual replacement for a janky, old laptop. Occasionally, I churn credit cards too. I open a new credit card to capture the new customer cash. Last year, I collected $200 of easy passive income love!

Paying off credit cards frequently is a great look for my credit score too. It’s been donning all sorts of fancy titles like great and excellent. My credit score is more luxe than me.

Deadbeat. Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner

Deadbeat is not a resume-building kind of title. It is comforting to know that one human can cause a big company to get huffy enough to sling names like were are back in kindergarten recess.

They can sling all they want. I’ll just smile, rebel, and cash in their rewards.

Rebelling feels a lot like winning.

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9 thoughts on “Why I’m A Deadbeat

  1. Don’t worry about the card companies they are still extracting money from the retailers you buy from in terms of transaction fees. In fact you are hurting the retailer when you use a credit card because they don’t get the full purchase price, they are forced remit some of that to the card company. But that’s not your fault, the retailer agreed to that deal.

  2. Welcome to the club, Max! It is not a title given but earned. 🥂

  3. Hey Ranger! I am also in the deadbeat club! Although in recent years I tend to stick to one or two credit cards for simplicity, it certainly can pay to be a deadbeat.


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