I still remember the excitement that went through my body when I signed up for my first credit card over two years ago. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on that little piece of plastic and already had a mental list of things I would buy with it. Little did I know that that small piece of blue plastic was going to be a horrible curse on my life for the next two years.
I knew what I was getting into. I wasn’t ignorant about what a credit card is. I knew the temptation that comes along with ever ready cash is hard to ignore but I kept telling myself that I wasn’t the kind of person who would get carried away with it. I would tell myself that it would only be used on small “emergency” purchases if ever I ran out of money and that I wouldn’t go swiping it for nonsense.
I love how I was able to fool myself! Everything started out as planned but soon I found myself splurging more and more on unnecessary items. I would keep telling myself that its only a small amount and I would be able to pay it back using next months salary. And so the cycle of mindless spending began. This cycle would go on for two years until I had enough of it. I realised I was paying more on products using my credit card than I would have if I paid for it in cash (interest and bank charges are sneaky little things). Being in debt also did bad things to my health. I’d be in financial stress all the time! And no matter what I tried I always found myself in the same situation over and over again. I felt trapped.
It wasn’t until I saw a certain influencer on Instagram talking about her credit card debt openly in her stories, did I even consider cutting up mine for good. I hated being in debt and I hated the power that it had on me. If she could accept that getting one is a mistake and change (her debt was far far worse than mine) then why couldn’t I? And so the journey to recovery began. There is no greater happiness than paying back the last penny you owe and being 100% debt free. It was hard but worth it!
It has been a couple of months since I started this whole “operation” of paying back my debt and I have realised a few things.
I have cut down on mindless spending.
When I knew I had ever ready cash in my pocket that was available to me anytime and anywhere I landed up spending a lot unnecessarily. Ordering out became a common occurrence and online sales became my best friend. Most of the time I wasn’t even hungry or didnt need the product I purchased. Now that I don’t have my CC anymore I’ve cut down on my monthly expenditure and only focus on the necessities which has worked wonders on my bank balance.
I save more and spend less.
Whether it’s for something I want or just to keep for a rainy day, I am able to save more without the fear of having to use the same funds to pay my debt back. I have more spending money with me now than what I had before because whatever went into the monthly payment is now free. Also, I no longer have to pay interest on any product that I purchase! I pay the exact amount that is needed and not a penny more.
I don’t need a credit card to survive.
When I didn’t have one I always thought I was missing out and lacking something. Now that I’ve gone through it all I realised I didn’t need one the the first place. I would take advantage of the extra money and never budget myself which is something I have to do now. Budgeting really brings things into perspective and teaches you the importance of planning and what is more important.
While I do regret getting myself into debt, I am glad that I realised it while I’m still young. Will I ever be getting myself into this situation again? Not if I have a say in it! Would I encourage others to try and stay CC free? Definitely! My mum always says that having a credit card encourages you to live above your wage and unless you have really good willpower having a credit card just isn’t worth it.