Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Goodbye, of sorts

This has not been a very well tended or long lived blog, but I need to take a break from blogging for a while. Not sure if I will come back to this or eventually delete it. Thank you to those of you who have stopped by and commented. I always appreciate hearing from people. Take care!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Responsible Credit Card Use

I just read the most thought-provoking post by Mike at Living the Cheap Life. In it, he makes the case for responsible credit card use as a way to earn rewards and take advantage of "float". He says that Dave Ramsey is wrong when he says there is no such thing as responsible credit card use. Well, I left an earful for Mike in his comments!

I want to share here what I wrote:

My two cents: Yes, Dave Ramsey’s solutions can sound very “one size fits all”, when of course, there are responsible credit card users. My argument against credit card use is a societal argument. Mike, you and the other credit card users who are getting rewards back, are not going to like what I have to say. While I don’t know the exact numbers and I don’t have the research to back up this up, I believe it is common knowledge that more people struggle with credit cards then master them. Given this fundamental truth, I believe that “responsible” users help the credit card companies perpetuate the myth that consumer credit can be a good thing. I am going to arbitrarily use the 80/20 rule here and make up an analogy to go with it! If heroin pushers offered “rewards” for using their drug, 20% of people would use heroin, reap rewards and suffer no ill effects. 80% of people would use heroin and become addicted and suffer all the horrible repercussions thereof. And the heroin pushers would laugh all the way to the bank. As a society, we have decided that a population of heroin addicts is not a good thing and we have outlawed heroin. I think consumer credit is exactly the same thing. I will go even further and say that the 20% who are being “rewarded” under this system are as responsible as the pushers are for the degradation of the 80%. There is personal choice and then there is social responsibility. I truly believe that consumer credit is a societal issue that this nation needs to address. Yes, fat chance, I know, especially as I seem to be the only person in the universe to hold this opinion!

I know this probably sounds crazy to most people, but nonetheless, this is my blog and this is where I get to express my opinion! I want to go one step further and ask you to substitute the word "heroin" for the word "credit card" everytime you see this phrase: "responsible credit card use". Hmmm, "responsible heroin use". If there is such a thing, I am pretty sure that it is pretty rare.

Anyway, tell me what you think!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Where's my instant gratification?

Oh lordy, I am too old to be this silly. When I started this blog two weeks ago, I was so gung ho to finally be conquering my debt! I have been diligently frugal, have found a second job, have made $185 in snowflakes, earned 185 points at MySurvey, filled out my debt calculator fifty ways till Sunday, and I think I should have more to show for it!

But I don't. And my grown up side knows that this is just the beginning. No matter how much I've done in the last two weeks, it's what I do over the next two years that is going to make a difference in my financial picture.

Of course, all the good things I did were off-set by some pretty dumb amnesia on my part too. Wells Fargo allows us to receive a cash advance based on a direct deposit that we receive every month. They don't let you do it forever, but irregardless, I don't want to do it. They take their $500 back plus another $50 fee for allowing us to advance our deposit early. Last month I took a $400 advance. It's getting pulled out of our checking account tomorrow and the last thing in the world I want to do is incur another advance this month. Add to that the fact that my daughter is celebrating her 18th birthday tonight and graduating from high school tomorrow and you can see where the next two weeks can get a little expensive.

We are celebrating very cheaply, but even so, it adds up. Her big gift for both occasions is her own camera cell phone and three months of service (flat rate, of course!).

So, between the cost of re-paying Wells Fargo and the gift/celebration expenses, we are already flat-out broke until the next payday. I'm going to list a doll today, but who knows if she will sell quickly. Interested parties can keep their eye on today. And I think the stimulus check will be here soon. That will help. It's actually needed to pay our 2007 taxes, but that's another story!