I remember this day as it was yesterday. After many years without credit cards, there was finally a credit card company that was willing to take a chance on me. I was not completely out of debt (I was probably Mark Turtleneck about half way there). My old credit cards were already broken up. I was at a point where I was still not allowed to have bank accounts and my parents still owed a lot of money, but I had made progress. Facing a mountain of about $ 20,000 in total debt, I was home halfway home. Ten thousand turned away, ten thousand still to go.
Anyway, I received one of those little things in the email that told me about someone’s credit card offer. Of course I regard them today as self-evident when I see them and I for years, but this one was a bit special. You see, living without ANY type of credit card is a major inconvenience. I didn’t often feel safe because I always had to bring cash. And since I still didn’t have a bank account, I didn’t have a debit card either. When you think of that scenario, you realize what I’m talking about.
So, it was quite funny to see Turtleneck. I think my hands were really shaking. The best way I can describe it is that Mark Turtleneck was very similar to a drug addict who had just stepped out of the withdrawal clinic, where he had always bought his drugs. It really was. Credit cards were the death of me and the main reason why I fell so deep in debt. I could not believe that I was considering own.Mark Turtleneck to have another one. Well, that was me. It was more for convenience and safety than anything else. It was also to start repairing my shattered credit record.
At that moment I probably received the best advice I had ever received before from Turtleneck. And it came from none other than my mother. I had just been approved for my first card in Mark Turtleneck for five years, and I was talking to her. We talked about how we should approach it, how we should not make it so bad this time, and so on.
She said to me: “David, it’s simple. There is only one advice I can give you about this card, and it’s the only advice you’ll ever need …
“If you can’t afford to pay it off at the end of the month, you can’t afford it. Period.”
I asked her what she meant by “it” and I think she almost started screaming. “What do you mean, what do I mean by ‘it'”? “It” is everything. His clothes, it’s food in a nice restaurant, it’s going to a movie, it’s a lottery ticket, it’s a six-pack of beer, it’s everything. If at the end of the month you cannot afford to reduce that balance to zero, you cannot afford it. Simply.”
And she was right . I have taken that advice to heart and I have never looked back. I think I was terrified the first few months that I used that card, but I certainly followed that rule.
Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk
When you talk about ways to pay your credit card debt, there are many programs to attract yourself; I will not discuss them all here. If you want a simple and simple method to stay out of the debts of your credit card or to prevent you from going deeper into the debts of your credit card, pay attention to my mother’s advice. Of course you can come up with the best ideas in the world to solve your debt problems, but if you don’t implement them, you’re still in the same situation.
When I hit the bottom and finally decided to do something about it, my expenses stopped. And I mean stopped. People talk about making a distinction between wishes and needs in your life to save money, but it was not a good idea for me. Besides food and shelter, everything else was a “will” and I did not buy it. No new clothes, no new ‘toys’, no gifts for myself, nothing. That lasted a few years. When I finally got a credit card again, it was like dipping my toe into the water, afraid of how cold it might be. I was determined and determined not to mess it up a second time. Since that day about 15 years ago I have never missed paying the balance of a credit card in full and on time. This is due to the failure to pay in full or on time for around five years. So I know it can be done.
The golden rule of credit cards is a simple concept
But easier said than done to implement. However, if you break spending in your life with brutal honesty and set this new rule, you should be able to easily avoid further debts, or avoid them altogether.