I didn’t think it was a mistake. At least not at first.
Twenty years ago, I signed up for my first credit card. It seems like it was yesterday and although that trite saying is often used, it is a true statement. It does seem like it was yesterday. Although I am many moons removed from being that slip of a girl, bleary-eyed student traipsing back and forth from college classes to a full-time job, in other ways, time has stood still in regards to the horrors that that cheap piece of plastic has spawned.
It was a mistake to sign up for a credit card without understanding the ramifications. It was a mistake to sign up for a credit card without understanding the terms APR, balance, and overdraft, fully and comprehendingly.
I no longer have that particular card taking up space in my wallet and I now have a painful understanding of those oft-used financial terms. But… I have another card, with a different logo but same dimensions, featuring an unpatterened set of numbers registering my fate.
Because that is what it feels like. Fate. That carrying this credit card balance is my fate. My initial mistake in signing up for a credit card, seems to be my fate today. Because even though it is not the same card, I feel like I am dealing with the same problems as I have been.
Lest you think that my debt is because I am obsessed with fashion or having the latest gadget or gizmo, rest assured, that is not the case. My credit card debt is simply the result of not having enough money in my emergency fund so that when an actual emergency comes up, I end up having to put said emergency on my credit card. I then start to pay down the card but then another emergency rears its ugly head and the whole cycle starts again. Car problems, dental visits, etc… You name it, I’ve had to pay for it.
But I am tired, just sick and tired of this vicious cycle, so I am turning to you dear readers.
Do you have any financial advice for me? I want to build up my emergency fund enough so that when an emergency arises, I am ahead of the game. I really want to pay off this credit card!