March 22, 2008

Credit Card High

A huge portion of Americans are in debt, that's a fact. But how is it that we got into this situation, where we couldn't dig ourselves out of the hole. Most of it, of course, is because we're consumers.
We like to buy, we like to buy a lot. The other side of the coin though is that there are people all over the world, that work for credit card companies, who want you to end up in debt.
They lure you with their interest rates, one-year no payment offers, anything they can pull out of their butts to get you signed up. Everywhere you go now they offer you a credit card; Target, Wal-mart and so on and so forth.
Plus they've made everything so expensive that you need a credit card to buy stuff. The wonderful thing, that many companies advocate, is that credit cards are accepted anywhere. You can use your credit cards to purchase everything from fast food to a new car.
And, don't forget that to purchase just about anything online you have to have a credit card; to rent a video you need a credit card and heck you can use your credit card to purchase that new kidney you need so badly.
So, what is an American consumer to do ? I'll tell you what. My wife and I don't have any credit cards and when we need to make an online purchase we go to the store and purchase one of those Visa gift cards.
They work online just like a regular credit cards, minus the high interest rate, you'll never pay it off, payments. It's already paid for, no need for monthly payments.
A general rule of thumb I've learned from my own experience and from the experience of others also a simple rule to follow, "If you can't afford to pay cash, than you can't afford it".
So next time that guy in the check out line, usually called a cashier, offers you a saving of 15% on your purchase if you sign up for their credit cards, just say no. Just think of it as being the same rules as not doing drugs, "Just say No".
Because, let's face it now, spending huge sums of money for a lot of people is like a drug. It's addictive and makes you feel good. Just like any drug though, you're going to hit that low point where you hate yourself.