Single and Settling In

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Giving In To Credit Cards

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I almost made a huge mistake.  For a second, I thought about opening up a credit card account.  For the first time in two years, I almost took the proverbial sip.  I almost fell off the wagon. 

I really don't know why I thought about it.  As I was working through my budget for the next couple of months, it was almost natural for me to consider the option of charging - scary right!?  Funny thing is I really don't need to.  There is no emergency; there is no major project that needs to be done. It simply went back to convenience and taking the easy way out instead of buckling down and adjusting my budget as needed. 

Yes, the easy way out which, as we all know, in the long run would have brought me more months of headaches and regret.  For those people new to choosing paper over plastic, it is hard. For those of us who have been doing things without credit - it is still hard.  Credit truly is an ironic thing when you think about it:  When I had credit cards and access to "money", I spent a TON of money but - I had nothing to show for it! I had nothing but a desire to pay it off.  I am constantly asking myself - what in the world did I spend all that money on, and never can find the answer. 

I will admit that I almost slipped up because of the wedding.  It seemed like a really simple fix.  Get a "wedding credit card" so that I can put deposits down when I need to, pay some things in advance and pay off the card month to month.  I even rationalized that if I only used it for wedding expenses I can ensure that I stay on my target budget for the wedding.  So when reality sunk in, I knew that it wouldn't go that way. Instead I would...

  • Not pay it off each month
  • Start to buy things, just to buy them
  • Increase my debt
  • Ultimately, my wedding becomes a stressful occasion instead of a joyful one

So instead, I went back to my monthly budget and pushed some things around and found room to make it work - realistically work. In 2009 I tracked and budgeted every penny I spent, the result?  I may have spent less, but I gained a whole lot more. Here is what I learned in 2009, and what has kept me from falling off of the cash wagon.

  • Everything is paid for up front
  • My credit score is great
  • My debt is going down
  • At the end of the year I spent less than I earned and therefore,
  • I can appreciate every cent I earn
  • Here's the best part - I have peace of mind 

So when you find yourself weakening and considering just one little store card to tide you over, remember WHY you started down this path. Appreciate your achievements and take pride in your willpower. Cut up those cards folks, it ain't worth it!

Have you had a moment of weakness? Tell me what stopped you from jumping back into the debt spiral?  

  • Well, for obvious reasons, for a long time my "can't say no" was credit cards. I was young, and they were great; I could buy what I wanted, when I wanted, and nothing came out of my bank account!

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