Inspiration I find comes in the oddest of places. I have a tendency to justify my actions. So in my mission to be more financially responsible (if you're new here, you can find plenty of past entries about this journey) I kept justifying hanging on to my one credit card, because I was keeping it paid off. I figured, as long as I wasn't paying interest I was ahead of oh, 99% of Americans. But the point isn't everyone else. The point isn't even the interest. The point is that I was spending more money, because my credit card doesn't have fine lines or cutoffs.
The point of a budget is that when you're spending let's say, $30 for the week on gas - you have none left. So if you get low on gas you better quit driving til Monday. With a credit card it's easy to swipe and pump $33 dollars of gas and then just keep driving until you need more, knowing you'll always be able to swipe again. This to me is a false sense of security. Just because I can scrounge around at the end of the month to make ends meet, doesn't mean that I'm being successful. It means I'm getting by - not getting ahead.
So, in a 90% black ensemble, I am morning the death of my credit card. Yep, that's right...she's gone. I fought tooth and nail for quite a while to justify just keeping her around in my wallet, ' just in case'. But you know what, I've got to quit making 'just in case's' become purchases. So, my wallet is a little lighter today folks!
Despite my drama of using terms like 'mourning' I actually feel great about the decision. It was time to give my budget a kick in the pants. Now that I'm a homeowner with quite a few years of debt ahead of me before I'll be able to proudly claim my 'debt free' status again, it was time to kick it into high gear. And this means that not even a couple dollars is going to slide through the cracks anymore. If it's not in the budget, it's not happening.
For me, the new year has renewed my resolve to stop making excuses for myself and grow. In all areas of life. So, no more justifying. No more comparing myself to people who 'are worse off than me' to make myself feel better about hanging on to bad choices. Just forging ahead with faith.
So, enjoy a moment of silence on my credit cards behalf...