Friday, September 26, 2008

Back in the day...

I could have learned an important lesson.

When I was 7 or 8 my biggest worry was being able to walk to the store a few blocks away to play pinball and buy a candy bar. I could do both for a dollar and still have change for something else.

I always thought that money was just THERE. I'll never forget one day when my mother informed my sis and I that she didn't have any money... my clever reply was "to write a check".

Obviously I didn't understand that you still needed money for that.

Now I had a rather good excuse since I was still in elementary school and my parents and extended family took care of me. Since those years I've learned a lot.

Both S and I have great work ethics and with a few kinks we have pretty good head when it comes to finances. Trust me, it has been a learning experience. Going from no credit to bad credit before I was 19...I loved me some credit cards! Cleaning up that mess after we were married and buying my first house at 24 felt really good.

Until I started getting the credit offers. And accepted. And more came. And I accepted. You see where I'm headed with this. I realized one day that I was actually juggling credit card payments so I made a list of our debts and while they were still "small" in relative terms, I could not believe that we owed almost $10,000 in credit card debt. We I was definitely living beyond my means.

It was that day we decided to pay them off and cut them up. Which we did and never looked back.

I'm proud to say that was over 4 years ago and we still do not carry any credit card debt. We do have one visa and one mastercard that we use, but any balance gets paid off every month without exception.

We've managed to raise our credit scores to over 790 and start a nice little nest egg. We call it the black hole. It goes in, but it never comes out. The best part is we did it all on our own.

I think the mortgage companies and federal government could learn a thing or two from my lesson. It's don't live beyond your means and you don't rely on credit to buy things you don't need and can't afford.

And for those wondering...yes 70 pairs of shoes are a necessity.


Lula! said...

About 75% of our country needs to read this. And our government!

Well said!

devilish southern belle said...

I definitely could use your tips, then. My husband recently paid off all his credit card debt, but he borrowed from his 401 K to do that, against his attorney's advice. Now all we have is our regular bills, but no o/t and 401 K loan repayments coming out of his paychecks every week, and the cost of everything going up at an alarming rate....I'd love to know how you were able to get on top of your debt!

I hate telling my kids that we don't have any money. My mother says I should never do that, that I don't need to worry them. But when they keep asking for this and that like the money never stops coming in, I feel compelled to explain to them that we just don't have it! I don't think there is anything wrong with me letting them know we worry about paying for necessities sometimes, and that sometimes the things they WANT have to wait. No, they don't need to worry about us, but they don't need to feel like we're poor just because we can't afford everything they'd like to have.

Off topic: A7X was here tonight, and I had to miss the show!

Eudea-Mamia said...

Wow - how prophetic are you?

I had to double check the original post date on this. Just five short months later...