Thursday, June 21, 2007

See ya Visa

I dropped my credit card into my lock box this morning.

About 10 years ago, while in college, getting my own credit card seemed like a good thing. I'd build some credit, and I wouldn't have to worry about always having cash for big purchases like books. For the first few years I was good, paying off my balance every month.

By senior year, I had depleted most of my savings and the credit card became my friend. I have never had an outrageous debt, just persistent. I'm tired of it. So after hashing all this out with a trusted advisor, he suggested putting the card away and pulling it out only for vacations.

"But I don't use it that much," I protested.
"Now, what was your goal again? Oh, 'reduce credit card dependence,'" he said. "Put the credit card in the lock box."

Well, I couldn't argue with that logic. Today I'll embark on my cedit card moratorium for at least the next month to see how this goes.

If any of you have suggestions about ways you reduced your debt, I'd love to hear it.


Ashley Northington said...

Bravo, Diane!

I did that same thing a few years ago. I got my first credit card at 15 and I racked up lots of stuff but then my daddy paid the bill. I got my own card (or four) by my sophomore year and ran up the bills. I cut them all up and paid them off completely.

Now I need to do it all over again.

Diane Haag said...

Thanks! Although it seems weird to not have one, I know I don't NEED it - plenty of people make less than me and have kids to feed! It's just about priorities I guess.

Adam Kealoha Causey said...

I think it's smart, too. When I would do internships in college, I'd eventually run out of stipend money and live off my credit cards. BAD IDEA.

Anonymous said...

First of all nobody put a gun to your head and made you use the credit card. So the issue of debit you and you alone are 100% responsible if it got out of hand. In short you were dumb enough to get in it now now need somebody smarter to get you out.

I am not a financial advisor, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express.

Since 1995 when I started keeping records in my computer I have charged $220,000.00 to my one and only credit card, or about $18,000 a year. During that time, in fact going back to 1972 (35 years ago) I have not paid one single penny in credit card interest. Nil, zip, nada, zilch, nothing, zero!

Here's the rules:

1. If you can't afford it, don't buy it.
2. Do not live the lifestyle of the rich and famous, until you are rich and famous.

See? Simple, to the point, and guarantee 100% success.

So in reality it's not that nasty old credit card that seems to have a mind of it's own and keeps charging things, it's YOU! So don't waste time putting the credit card in the lock box. Go out and find a box of RESPONSIBILITY and put some of that in your head!

Sorry to burst your bubble...but YOU are the problem. Not the credit card!