From Bad Decisions To Good, Lessons Learned Over A Lifetime
When I was young it was so much harder to get a credit card. At least it was for me. But when I was twenty-four, I wouldn't have given me one either. "Let's see, Mr Wilson. You've got a $204.00 monthly payment on a Camaro with 200,00 miles on it and you share rent with four other people in a house that you don't own." Yeah, I could see turning me down.
About a year later, I'd be danged if Visa decided that I was trustworthy and sent me a card. Great move for them. Not so much for me. My first purchase was a fifteen-pack of Strohs Beer. Good taste and had fifteen cans instead of just twelve.
Soon after, I got my first bill. You're not going to believe this, but they weren't even asking me for all the money for all of my purchases for that month. If I sent them twenty-seven bucks, that would be fine.
What followed was a painful and extremely expensive lesson in credit and when to use or not use it. But it taught me the right way to operate my personal finances. To that end, I haven't paid any credit card interest in over thirty years.
Teach them young.
I'm emphasizing these lessons for my sixteen-year-old daughter. It's interesting watching as she has gotten somewhat better. But I still get an occasional call where she'll explain why she has to get these expensive earrings. Because Tori has them, so I need them.
I try to enforce financial responsibility every chance I get. For instance, if you need to finance new furniture for six years, you don't need that furniture.
I'm just trying to save her the humiliation of having the guy at the register say "I'm sorry. There seems to be something wrong with your card. Do you have a different one?"
Causes of Credit Card Debt
Gallery Credit: Dr. T