Monday, April 9, 2007

You Decide: Milestone or Idiocracy?

I paid off my credit card debt last week. The balance in full was paid, and they cannot charge me anymore ridiculous interest.

This could be a milestone. Some sort of achievement to be proud of, but... I think I should have learned my lesson with credit card debt a LONG time ago.

I first got a credit card when I was 18 years old and was opening a checking account. I had moved to a new city for college and had this wild fantasy of being free of my parents and having freedom to do what I wanted in regards to money... OH RIGHT, what money???

Anyways, it came in the mail. The first month, I charged a dinner and maybe jeans from the mall. I paid the full amount at the end of the month. Fast forward to 6 months later when I got into the habit of charging things on my card and conveniently paying just the minimum balance. My credit limit was $800 and within the first year, it was maxed out.

My parents heard about this, gave me a stern lecture about responsibility, and paid the card off for me. It's embarassing to say, but this parental bail-out happened a couple of more times.

Finally, in December I realized, I've had a full time job for almost a year now. Why have I not paid off this measley amount? I wasn't in a hopeless situation. I knew a few people in their 20s with $15k and even $30k in debt. I just had $1,800 to pay off. The stress and jimmney cricket in my head was certainly flaring up. Maybe it was greed and denial that made me procrastinate?

I made a $800 payment in January after my new year's goal making motivation.
I made another $200 payment in March when I realized I didn't make a February payment.
Then this past week, I had allocated too much for the closing costs on my condo. That extra $1,000 went to paying off the credit card.

I'm not going to lie. That extra $1,000 bucks languished in my account for a few days....just waiting to be spent. it was WHISPERING IN MY EAR..."go get furniture for your new condo, you want buy new furniture, you must get new furniture." That's when I decided, I better suck up the $10 check-by-phone surcharge, and make this payment to the credit card company.

Milestone or Idiocracy?

Jury's out, the verdict is: Idiocracy!

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