The gift that keeps on giving…
I’m so excited! I just bought a trucker hat, the Nookie Limp Bizkit album, Gigli movie tickets, and a Motorola StarTac flip phone. How cool is that? Yes, I’m aware that all this stuff was popular in the year 2000. But if you really need to know, I’ve been paying for this crap for 20 years and I just paid it all off!
Are you hearing the words that are coming out of my mouth? You could be paying off the stuff you buy today for the next 20 years. That’s insane! Worse, you’ll spend about twice as much. So if you thought it was a crime to pay 10 bucks to see Gigli, how would you feel knowing you really paid $20 to see it? Probably like a real loser.
What’s the point?
The early 2000s were a terrible wasteland for popular culture. No? I mean, yes, that’s true, but no, that’s not the lesson. We’re talking about credit cards.
What can I possibly tell you about credit cards you don’t already know? Take this quiz.
Which of the following are true about credit cards?
1. It can cost twice as much to buy something with a credit card after you pay interest.
2. It can take over a decade to pay for something you buy today.
3. Credit card debt can prevent you from obtaining real financial success and can suck the life from you.
4. Average credit card debt is $6,741 and maybe not so coincidentally, 400 people are hit by lighting each year in the U.S. Connected? Do the math.
The unfortunate answer is that all of the above is true. So what have we learned so far? Credit cards are awesome. Credit cards will ruin your life and make you want to kill yourself. And credit cards cause lighting strikes. Perhaps that last one is a bit of an exaggeration.
So, what do we have here?
A big fat mess. We have something we can’t resist and that will provide us anything our hearts desire right now with something that will ruin us in the future.
What you need are some easy credit card rules to live by . . .
The proceeding blog post is an excerpt from Get Money Smart: Simple Lessons to Kickstart Your Financial Confidence & Grow Your Wealth, available now on Amazon.
About the Independent Financial Advisor
Robert Pagliarini, PhD, CFP®, EA has helped clients across the United States manage, grow, and preserve their wealth for the past 25 years. His goal is to provide comprehensive financial, investment, and tax advice in a way that was honest and ethical. In addition, he is a CFP® Board Ambassador, one of only 50 in the country, and a real fiduciary. In his spare time, he writes personal finance books, finance articles for Forbes and develops email and video financial courses to help educate others. With decades of experience as a financial advisor, the media often calls on him for his expertise. Contact Robert today to learn more about his financial planning services.