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Life Simplification – Cancelling and Shredding Credit Cards

Without meaning to, my wife and I accumulated a huge pile of credit cards. Not credit card debt, just the cards themselves. I still don’t know how or why we got so many. These things are liabilities and we didn’t need the credit, or the card.

Earlier this week we made a big pile of the cards, divvyed them up, and started making a bunch of calls, cancelling the cards as quickly as we could. We each spent an hour or two on the phone, navigating the voice response menus and ultimately killing the cards one after the other. I’ve got one more card to cancel and then we’ll both be done. Between the two of us we have cancelled between 15 and 20 cards!

A few of the accounts had actually been closed automatically due to inactivity, but most of them were still active and showing up as liabilities on our credit report.

Each time we finished with a card we ceremonially sent it through our shredder as a parting gesture. Goodbye, eBay branded Mastercard! Goodbye Visa card with the Linux Penguin! You were cute, but I don’t need you anymore.

Getting rid of unneeded things is good. There’s a satisfying feeling when you identify something that complicates your life, whether it occupies physical space and causes clutter, or whether it is one of those thoughts or concerns that sticks in your brain day after day like a low-priority background process, stealing cycles away from more useful thoughts.

Next stop, the garage!

What have you thrown away? What complications have you removed from your life?

Update: Weirdharold of the VTOR blog said that I should have melted the cards together into a piece of art. Whoops, that would have been cool.