While cleaning out the house I came across pretty much all of my credit card statements & receipts from my first five years after college. What the hell was I thinking? The balances I had on my credit cards look like a lot NOW. Using credit to support a lifestyle ranks up there as one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done. I know what I was thinking….”Eventually I’ll get a great paying job and I’ll be able to pay it all off.” I just wasn’t expecting it to take a decade.
“If I die tomorrow it is all free.” I said that to myself a lot, too. Problem is if you don’t die you have to pay it off. There were several lean years before I finally got a job that allowed me to turn the corner. The good news was that once you pay off that first debt you start to build some momentum as you take the money you were paying and apply it to another debt. Then after some time you can start building up your savings. Of course, if you skip that whole “debt” phase you can go straight to the savings part.
It’s hard to live within your means when you’re young and have friends pushing you to go out and have fun. Focus on what you really want to do. Everything else is a distraction. If you never go into debt you are free to do whatever you want. Also, with as ridiculous as college loan debt is these days, why would you want to pile more on top of it? No matter what you want to do in life, whether it is travel around the world, start your own business, whatever….it will always be easier to chase that dream if you start out in the black.
Do Not Run Up Credit Card Debt