Jumping on the Bed!

The continuing blog on anime, games, movies, computers, college, and life in general

Archive for the 'Money' Category

CyberCrystal and the Battle of the Credit Cards

Hello Credit Card Debt

That’s it. I’m done. Finito. Yay! A year and a half ago I had over $3,600 in credit card debt from three or four cards. It was a problem, and I can admit that now. Now that it’s finally over. Sabrina was kind and gracious enough to develop a plan for me. She picked up a Discover card with a large limit and no interest for balance transfers for a year. The catch was that if I missed any payments, the card would charge interest on everything. On top of that, I also had to save money for rent which I had never done before either so I was really scrimping when I could. Sabrina had to ride my ass a few times throughout the ordeal, but it has literally paid off. Thankfully I also have a job that allows me to cut out the unecessaries, pay off my bills, and eat as well. Fortunately, I didn’t have to offer any painful sacrifices. Do I really need a new video card? No. Do I really need to eat out every week? No. Did I need to buy that series of Anime titles? Not unless it was absurdly on sale. Do I need that new video game? …maybe.

Okay, so I splurged every now and again but when it was all over and done with, I felt something that I never knew was missing. Freedom. It was impossible to feel the drain on my life when I’d been living with it for well over a decade. I used to be extremely embarrassed with my financial situation, even when I knew things were getting better. There is a lot of stigma around personal finances in our society. I remember hearing a conversation on NPR a couple of months ago that more people know about their friend’s intimate lives than they do their financial bearing. And to me, in this country, is terrifying. So it goes “guns and violence” before “love and intimacy” and then finally “money”. You know, for being part of the “Civilized World”, I get the feeling that we’re completely screwed up.

At my parents’ a couple of weeks ago, while rebuilding their computer, I watched the movie “Maxed Out“. I was uncomfortably re-assured that what I had a feeling was going on, actually was. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. That banks aren’t looking people who know about banking, they want the sales people from the Mall. They want people to sell “add-ons” at the bank. Selling CDs and new accounts, and loans, and mortgages, etc. It is a really good watch if you’ve got 90 minutes here or there. They push credit cards to college students knowing full well that the students will never make the payments to stay ahead of the interest rates. And that those “Instant Cash” advance companies generally owned by the largest banks in America, just to make more money with grotesque interest rates they couldn’t get from their tellers at the regular establishments.

It really brought things home for me that I think needed to be. Kind of like the final nail in the coffin so to speak. Now, the only credit card that I’ll use is the one tied directly into my checking account. I really don’t want that over my head any more. No thank you. I very happily shred all of the credit card applications that come in the mail saying, “Sorry, you’re not going to get any of my money. I’ll pay cash, thank you very much.”

1 comment