Bad Money Choices: Credit Cards

I really like the idea of sharing all of my poor choices, so I feel like at least attempting a semi-regular series…  I don’t know that it’s possible to find yourself $18k in debt (with 60% of that consumer debt) without making some bad money choices along the way.

Today’s Bad Money Choices topic is a classic.  The ultimate heavyweight in “Reasons I got into Debt”:  Credit cards!

Squeeee credit cards! No, that’s not my pile. I chopped up most of my pile.

Why are the cards a poor decision?  Well, there’s the usual reasons like spending money I don’t actually have, astronomical rates of interest on the money you don’t have, etc, etc.  But for me, they promoted the purchases of a LOT of Stuff that I didn’t need.  Stuff that I bought to fill voids in my life that I either couldn’t (or wouldn’t) fill otherwise.  Stuff I bought to fit in with people I thought I wanted to fit in with.

The funny thing is that even though my cards aren’t completely paid off (as of writing), I feel that I am able to use them responsibly now.  I only use the cards for large purchases that have funds in the bank to cover.  This just gives me the extra day or two to actually get the money (since I keep the funds in a targeted savings account that I don’t have immediate access to).  Lately this has been put into play for the slew of plane tickets I’ve purchased.  But aside from that, credit cards are a huge no-no to me. If I can’t afford it with the cash I have earmarked for the purpose, then I can’t have it. Simple.

Lesson: Don’t spend money you don’t have.

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