Sunday, May 24, 2009

WAY WAY back in August of 2008, I started posting about my journey in to consumer debt, and my penchant for opening credit lines as some sort of measure of financial prowess.   The journey out of credit card debt is almost complete, and kind of a separate story, but I finally come back to it with last month's payoff of the Sear "Charge Plus" account.    Honestly, I don't really remember what the "Charge Plus" signified, or how it differentiated from a regular Sears credit card.   I remember I had both, that's about it.   I had dispenesed the regular Sears card with the sale of our house, don't know why this pesky, stupid account stayed out there and wasn't included as a part of that.   

Anyway, suffice it to say that this account was at least as old as my 12 year marraige, and represented at least two refrigerators that I no longer own, and possibly a water heater for the old St. Elmo house.      Paying off this account I guess is particularly meaningful to me because it represents some of my foundational stupidity with the use of credit, that is compartmentalizing debt.    I suppose I thought because this account was mainly used for major house purchases that it was "smarter" than your average Visa card, even though the interest rate was one of the highest.   If you read the first part of my story you know that the various interest rates I had on different credit cards never really factored in anyway.    But in my head I had set it apart in a different category and thus kept it around as if it was a pet.    That was my logic- this account was ok to keep because I couldn't buy food and beer with it- so stupid.  

I'm sorry, there's really not a whole lot I want to buy at Sears anymore- I've sworn off charging anything anymore, and in all likelihood the reason I was in Sears in the first place was because they gave me credit, which was the idea I suppose... and this exemplifies the trap that Main Street America falls in to constantly.   Buy first, think later.

I've only got one more credit card balance to pay off- down from 4 from a year ago when I started listening to this guy Dave Ramsey and began the journey to debt free.    I also have to give a shout out to a couple of other blogs I've been reading the last year as well, The Simple Dollar and Get Rich Slowly, both of which have great reading and resources and have been a source of encouragement to me in the last year.

brother gets his masters

not sure what was so funny
Originally uploaded by emmegab
For those of you that know us, you will be interested to learn that my younger brother Andy has surpassed me in his formal education, graduating with his Masters degree this past week. There was a time in my life that his achievement might have left me feeling inadequate- we've always had the typical brother one-upmanship- but truthfully, the older I get the more I'm content to delight in seeing other s succeed and better their lives. Andy worked long and very hard for this, while serving as a supervisor in the Hamilton County EMS, and taking a year and a half out of his life to tour the big sandbox serving his country. Well done sir.