QUOTE (JenksIsMyHero @ Apr 12, 2018 -> 09:49 AM)
We only use credit cards to pay for things and then pay off the cards each month. Rarely cash and I don't think either of us have used a debit card in 5-6 years. You're basically throwing money away if you use anything but a credit card that has rewards for cashback or miles. We use an AMEX and Amazon Visa as our main cards, and then we open 5-6 per year to take advantage of promotions. So, for example, we opened a Disney Rewards Visa when we went to Disney a couple of years ago because new card members received $250, plus another $50 for signing on a second user. Most cards have a similar promotion, so we open the card, match the required spending (usually something like 3-5k in the first 3 months), and then cut the card up and never use it again. Usually good for $1000+ in free money a year for doing nothing but spending money like we would anyway.
We max out our retirement accts every year (employer match and Roth IRA) and then put in a set dollar amount of each check into a general investment account. We also keep little to nothing in our checking account. Basically enough to pay the bills for the month. The remainder goes into savings.
We track our spending and accounts using Mint. I'm a deal-hound so I constantly check around on sites like kinja deals, dansdeals (great for airfare savings), etc. for random stuff and i'll price shop before I buy anything. I'm a huge fan of the Chrome extension Camel for Amazon because it shows the pricing history of every product. You'll know if the price is a good deal or not.
The italicized is exactly how I feel and can't stress it enough.
As far as the bolded, how does your credit get hit by doing that. I opened 3 credit cards in February and my credit score score went down 20 points. Getting a couple hard pulls on credit for refinancing quotes didn't help either. I totally agree with your strategy of taking advantage of initial sign up bonuses with cards but am curious if you could speak to the effect it has on yours and your wife's credit scores.
Good stuff on the last paragraph. I'll have to check those sites out.