Stop treating your credit card like a bottomless cookie jar
Debt trap. The only way to truly take control of your life is to stop spending beyond your financial means
People stop me on the street, in the mall, at the supermarket to ask me if the people who appeared on my TV shows were real and, by the way, how could they ever get themselves into so much debt.
It’s easier than most people think.
A credit card is kind of like a bottomless cookie jar. With easy access to credit, there’s no reason to wonder when the treats will run out, and you are never disappointed.
Want a new outfit? Just stick it on a credit card. Want dinner with a bunch of friends? Kaching, ka-ching. Desperately in need of a sunny vacation to beat the winter blues? There’s room on the card and that’s just what it’s for, right?
When credit became a commodity and lenders started hiking limits and offering incentives to take on more cards, people started behaving like greedy children, gobbling cookies without a thought to the tummy ache that would eventually follow.
Now, Canadians think nothing of spending more than they make every year. Hey grown-ups, before you think to chastise a child for anything, think about your own lack of self-control!
How did we get so much credit? All you needed was a nice, shiny credit score and you could have all the credit you wanted.
Do you know that people who make only the minimum payment on their credit cards have a better credit score than those who pay off their balances in full every month? Why? Because they’re more profitable customers, so they score higher.
Do you want to be some company’s dream customer, paying gobs of interest and twisting in the wind when the company decides to change the rules of the game? Or do you want to be in charge of your money and your life?
Focusing on your credit score is a trick, a distraction from the real issue: You have to learn to live within your means.
Credit cards only serve you when you have the power. Give the power to the creditor and you’re a puppet, jumping and twitching. So, do you want to be some credit card company’s puppet? Like the feeling of twitching when collectors call? No? OK then, it’s time to retake control.
Being in charge means being out of debt. It means paying off your balance in full every single month. It means having only as much credit available as suits your needs.
Living within your means isn’t as hard as some people think. Yes, you have to make choices. And yes, you may have to wait a while before you can take that vacation.
But when you stop treating your cookie jar like it has no bottom and start living within your means, you’ll be in charge.
Sometimes there are cookies, and sometimes not. And if there are no cookies for a while, that’s not the end of the world. You just have to get busy baking! WANT TO BE SMARTER ABOUT YOUR MONEY? GO TO MYMONEYMYCHOICES.COM AND FOLLOW THE ROADMAP TO SUCCESS.
Sometimes there are cookies in life, sometimes there are not.