I have been thinking for a while about doing more personal finance posts, but I wasn’t sure if I was really qualified to give out financial advice.
Well, I decided that since I’m not qualified to teach elementary school, but I do that anyway, I might as well go for it.
It’s not like I am going to give stocks tips or investment advice. I am just going to share some helpful pointers that we have discovered along our journey to financial health.
This first week, my advice is simple.
Get out your January credit card bill(s).
You should be able to find the total finance charges for last year. Take a good, long look at that number.
Think about all of the things you could do with that money, if you had it right now.
Now, realize that you paid your credit card company that money in interest. You basically gave that money away for the ability to buy something that you could not afford.
Okay, don’t beat yourself up about it.
Resolve now to stop trowing your money away. Resolve now to put away those cards and never use them again.
Bob and I did this two or three years ago when we realized how much we spent on credit card interest. We have not used our card since.
At first it was hard, since we were only using it for car repairs. We had to save money in order to not need the card, but we were still paying on that card. We did not feel like we had the extra money to save for repairs.
It was very difficult to get into good habits and wean ourselves off of our credit dependency, but we stuck to our guns and are better for it.
You will be too.