I have been asked this question many a time in my life: “If you could have all the money in the world but no love, would you do it?”
And my answer has always been and will always be…absolutely not.
Being rich and unhappy has never been one of my goals. Because what would be the point of traveling the world, living in a beautiful mansion, having maids at my beck and call and sipping pina coladas overlooking the most picturesque lake, and not having anyone to share it with?
So I always had it in my mind that I would rather be poor and in love than rich and without it.
But in my old age (OK not old age but in my wiser years) I have come to realize that being in love and in DEBT is not really what I had in mind.
With student loans and credit cards and bills out the wazoo it suddenly hit me: I am a shopaholic.
The high- the absolute euphoria- I feel when I walk into a department store is intangible. Honestly, the feeling I feel is close to that feeling I feel when I feel love. Its butterflies and giggles and running through fields of butterflies. It is just bliss.
And then I try things on, and touch this, feel that, admire this. And all of a sudden I am a rock star…untouchable. I am the next Victoria Beckham or Monroe or Jackie O. Its all a huge world of fantasy until I swipe that credit card and walk out, and then I come crashing back down to earth.
Did I just spend $400? On what?
When I get home I rush through the bag and lay out my purchases. What did I really buy? How could it have been that much? I try not to think about it and turn away from my purchases until the next day when the remorse has settled.
So just last month I sat down and actually looked at my debts. The shock and horror I felt when I really looked at my debts would really put Rebecca Bloomwood to shame. College loans, credit card upon credit cards, store cards, APRs high enough to kill a man and other ridiculous bills.
Luckily I had a few friends that stepped in and say “giiiirrrrl check yourself before you wreck yourself!” Thanks to these friends I have got myself on the right path.
The first thing I did was really take a look at what I owe. Next I am paying off all the smaller balances and cutting up the cards so I don’t use them.
My new motto: If I can’t afford it now, I can’t afford it ever.
Next we will handle the bigger balances and start paying some chunky LUMP sums.
An important thing I have learned over the years is: when you pay off a card- don’t close it. Keep your line of credit open, it just helps your credit.
My old motto used to be: It’s America- we live on credit.
My new motto is: America has been F-ed by credit! I don’t want to be F-ed too!
Another huge realization I have come to is: shopping didn’t really make me happy. It was just a temporary high, like a drug. And I gotta get off the drugs.
So I am paying this stuff off. Goodbye debt, it has been nice knowing you.
And even though Rob and I are broke as church mice right now, we still have each other’s love…and maybe that is all you need.