The Spending Diary

a day in the life of a chronic spender

Addicted to Credit December 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — dgaray @ 10:01 am

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Well this is quite timely for the season considering January is when all the credit card bills from the holiday start piling up in your mailbox! Here is an interesting experience of mine to share with you all

From someone who had three credit cards as a student on top of a student loan, I have come a very long way! I have been 8 months sober from my last multi-credit card purchase but it didn’t come without much needed discipline and many loved ones restraining me at the cash register at Holt Renfrew.

My first realization that I needed help was when I was in LA shopping and had already maxed all my cards except my emergency card. Who would have thought buying a brand new cell phone was an emergency? Somehow in my head I justified it. That is what happens to people with a credit card addiction, every purchase is some how rationalized to make sense. If you are one of these people, I say this in the nicest way possible, but you need help and fast! I think that was my ultimate low when I hit rock bottom. I was hundreds of miles away from home and I had 3 maxed out credit cards, what was a girl to do. That night when we got back to the hotel I knew I had to finally call it quits. I went for the scissors and started snipping away. One by one the credit cards were cut into little pieces…they were literally pulverized by the time I was done snipping away. It felt really good to do what I felt had to be done. I knew this was going to be a new start for me, I’ll go return all the things that I bought that were unnecessary and just keep a few things that were at least reasonable and didn’t cost a year’s worth of tuition. It was the best decision I had made until I realized it was the stupidest thing I had done.

With all my purchases paid through credit card how was I going to return everything if I had cut them up!? This is when I had my second realization..”There are no quick fixes for addictions They always backfire!” I had to face the real consequences of my addiction and had to deal with this the hard way. Right when I arrived back home from LA I went straight to work and did everything in my power to get rid of my credit card debt. I am only down to one credit card, which is good considering where I started, but every time I look at it it’s a reminder of every stupid purchase I’ve made.

I know there are people like me with spending problems. Know that you are not alone! I’ve done some crazy things in the past to help with my shopping addiction, I’ve tried hiding my credit cards on myself (I know it’s weird) it worked for a short period of time until I would go to the mall and spot something I really really had to have and then I would go home and ransack the entire house eventually finding it! Don’t even think about putting your credit cards in the freezer either! Uh one word-microwave. So I mean it proves to show that these silly tactics don’t work. You don’t have to hit rock bottom first to realize you need to change your spending habits! This is why Im writing this blog, so you can learn through my mistakes and so you don’t have to be stuck paying credit card debts for the rest of your life!

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