"Secret skimping is out, like false bosoms." - Marjorie Hillis, Orchids on Your Budget, 1937.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

That's the sound of a [wo]man working on the chain gang

I was just speaking with a colleague whose story highlights the importance of staying out of credit card debt, or at least having a plan to pay it off.

She's in her early 30s with 3 credit cards, and she carries a balance on all of them. She says she pays the minimum balance on them, and sometimes tries to pay a bit more, but she has no plan. She's basically living paycheck to paycheck (unnecessarily) and charging food (is that $2 muffin really worth $5?). I recommended Dave Ramsey's book as an inspirational tool for her situation, but I'm not sure she was seeking advice.

She did say something that really struck me: "I'm not worried; I'll get out of debt sometime."

Unless you're taking steps to be proactive about doing something, "sometime" will never come, and your debt will just keep mounting. Unless it's concrete -- unless you have a plan -- unless "sometime" becomes "today," or "December 31st," or "in 3 years," it's not going to happen.

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