The Credit Card Trap

We we happily signed up for our first credit card when we were first married. It was so easy. We went into the store and saw the advertising and the professionally dressed employee flashing a big smile and ready to help with the application. Beside them the treasure awaits. It’s a great deal that is hard to pass up. We fell for it. and we have been falling ever since that time. Twenty years of debt is enough!

Having a credit card does help build your credit score…if you pay it off every month. To me this is the only grand benefit.

Credit cards can help when going on a vacation and there is an emergency. Credit cards help when paying for items on the internet, but they are just too easy to use when your in a pinch for cash. Go home and wait it out. Do something other that use the plastic because you don’t know what tomorrow holds. The money may or may not be available to pay the bill off.

One day when shopping for Christmas I was hit by a buy it now bug. I just felt like I had to have those four items totaling just over thirty dollars. When I went to the checkout counter and was asked for payment, I confidently reached into my purse for the checkbook. I was shocked to find it wasn’t there. A quick thought over the day made me realize that I had paid a bill at home and left the check book on the kitchen table. Happily I reached for my credit card. I felt really stupid when I found out the credit card expired. When I didn’t have cash on hand or the check book. I had to walk away from my almost purchases. I felt frustrated and out of control, but later I felt better. I guess I didn’t need those things after all. I found the credit card can be a trap to grab those impulse buys.

Lately we’ve been working hard to use cash for gasoline and groceries. Wow! Now we see the balance going down! When I’m not paying $300 for purchases, I can make a $300 payment that brings down the balance. It was fun eating lower cost meals more often during the month. Now our payments have some power to them. If another card just happens to come in the mail, you know what I’m going to do? I’m taking scissors and cutting it up immediately before I have a chance be tempted. I like the freedom.

Watch out for those enticing checks that come in the mail. My parents got into a trap on that one. Our family finally understood why Mom didn’t have enought money for the month. She was using everything to pay interest on a credit card bill. What a mess it was to find more that one credit card balance. After we found out, it was hard to even talk to the credit card companies.

Just remember that it may feel like freedom to buy what you want, but there are consequeces to actions. There are worriesand many, many sleepless nights. Do yourself a favor and don’t get caught in a credit card trap.