I made a tough decision not too long ago. I decided to give up my credit card habit. Think about it, I don’t need to buy four pairs of shoes at one time, nor do I need to buy three more purses. Bye, bye retail therapy.
Statistics show that in March 2010 revolving credit in the United States totaled $852.6 Billion dollars, 98% of that is debt. There were days when I felt that most of that debt was mine. It was just time to go back to the old way of doing things.
When my Colombian mother-in-law died ten years ago, she left a house that was paid off, fifteen thousand dollars in a safe deposit box and various other liquid accounts. This was a woman who never earned more than minimum wage, as a seamstress, and sometimes spent months unemployed while the coat factory went on seasonal hiatus. What was she doing right?
On September 15th, Being Latino posted a blog by Carlos Macias, The Battle Against Racism Starts from Within. It was a great blog, but what got me right in the financial gut was the link to a photo essay. As I flipped through those pictures, the captions showed how much money they were sending back home. A fast food delivery worker was sending five hundred dollars a week while a waiter was sending home three hundred and fifty dollars. What are they doing right?
They are all paying cash for their purchases and living a simpler life. We all pay for things that are a convenience but not a necessity. Do we really need to pay twenty-six dollars a month for a cable network when we only watch two series on the network? A recent article indicates that the use of credit cards in the United States is down and the trend may continue when financial stability improves.
I’m going to start improving my financial stability now. My healthy credit rating may take a hit, but when I show up to buy a new car with half of the purchase price in cash, I don’t think they’re going to turn me down. If you see me in the Coach store, be assured that I’m checking out the purse that I’m going to buy at the outlet next year.