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!
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.