I was born in the late 60's, which meant I grew up in the 80's...and boy did I love the 80's! Big hair, big clothes, big make-up. What is there not to love??? It was also the decade of credit cards and personal loans, at least it was for me. I got my first major credit card at 19 years old and I was very excited to say the least. First thing I did was book a trip to Florida to visit my aunt and uncle. I had lots of other credit cards before that one, but a major card like this gave me the freedom to do things I was unable to do before like take a trip. From that point on I was hooked. I was a clothes horse and pretty much my favorite past time was shopping for anything that I was in the mood for. Dirty clothes no problem, I will just go buy more. This was just the beginning.
The first time I was married was at the ripe age of 22 and soon after the glitz of the wedding wore off, I realized what bad shape I was in financially. I brought all the debt to the marriage, but now it was ours and we sat and decided that we would quit using credit and pay off everything to save for a house. And believe it or not we did. Well, we paid everything off but we did not save for a house because we wanted one fast. So we borrowed the down payment of $15,000 from my brother-in-law, and in doing so set ourselves up for failure. We now had a reasonable mortgage with an unreasonable side note to pay every month. So each month we would slip just a little bit into debt because we did not have quite enough to pay for everything. We certainly did not want to default on our loan from my brother-in-law, so we started using our credit cards to fill the gap. Fast forward 2 years: I lost my job and we almost lost the house, but instead we listed it and sold it in time. We had to move into my in-laws house to save for another house and I remember thinking that I felt homeless. I know I should have seen this as an opportunity to save, but my relationship with my in-laws was so bad that it was like a punishment for not being financially prudent. We stayed there for just under a year, saved for a house and moved to Florida. No jobs, just dreams and 15 years later I am still here, remarried to a great guy and still in debt.
I never want to put myself in the position again that someone could come along and take my house or feel homeless. I want to own my house outright so the only expenses will be taxes, maintenance, and repairs. I used my credit twice this week and I keep going over it in my head of why I would do this? Both times it was for food; either restaurant or prepared food from the grocery store. Not unlike most people, I work long hours and I do not want to always come home and cook. I find that I will have to either create a budget for take-out or I will have to find a way to make meals ahead of time so I can just warm them up when I get home. I use the slow cooker a lot, but the types of food you can cook in them can be boring.
So, this week I have found one of my "triggers" for overspending...convenience. I am going to work on that from this point forward. What are some of your triggers when it comes to overspending? Traveling, clothing, electronics....