I had to pay a small fee to get my first credit card. I had that credit card for about a year then luckily my mom’s credit card company offered an option where she could write me a recommendation to get a regular no fee credit card. I was very excited. Getting a credit card to me was one step closer to financial freedom. Little did I know then that it could easily lead to financial slavery.
I am very financially responsible with my credit card. Ever since I got my first one, I have paid the balance off, on time and in full each month. That was until a few years ago when I got backed up in my mail and I did not pay it on time.
I was angry at myself and I was angry at the credit card companies. One of the reasons I feel that I missed the payment date was because they decreased the amount of time in the grace period. This was the first black mark on my credit history.
This experience made me think hard about my spending habits and credit card use. Life would be so much simpler if I paid with cash; because once the transaction was over I did not have to worry about paying it again when my credit card bill came in. No more credit card due dates and late fees to worry about.
I also noticed that although, my credit card use was responsible it did encourage me to spend more money than I should. One reason I often would put everything on my card was to earn the rewards my credit card offered. The truth was even though I did earn rewards, it was too easy to spend more than I intended.
This new insight led me to change the way I thought. If I stopped using my credit card I would actually save more money, because I would be spending less. Giving up my credit card would also reduce my stress level, because I would no longer have to worry about paying my credit card bill at the end of the month.
I have since put my credit card in a place for safe keeping. I often fantasize about giving up my credit card for good, but I enjoy the security it makes me feel. If an emergency came up I would be able to break out my credit card and purchase whatever I needed. The temptation however, still remains as long as I have my card. Every once in a while I still find myself taking it out and going on a little spending spree, but eventually I remind myself of why it was not in my wallet in the first place. I then take it back out of my wallet and put it away.
Eventually, I wish to be strong enough to get rid of my credit card for good. Think about it if we really had enough money to purchase an item we would not need a credit card. Credit cards encourage people to go into debt. They make it too easy to spend money we don’t have. For now, I use my credit card as a security blanket. I take it out every once in a while when I’m down but eventually it goes back into its storage place. One day perhaps I will grow up enough not to need its security anymore.
Source: Personal Experience