Thursday, November 6, 2008

And so it begins!

I suck with money. That is putting it mildly. If I have money, it is burning a hole in my pocket and I want to spend it. I have no idea how to save money.

I grew up with divorced parents. I was definitely a bit spoiled. Not that I got everything I wanted, but I definitely got most of it. I don't think I acted it though. I was always appreciative of what I had and what I got.

As I grew older I watched Dad take me shopping. He paid with his credit card. Every time. I thought this was the coolest thing ever! What Dad didn't tell me is that he paid the entire balance every month.

By the time I turned 18 I was a shopper. My dad took my shopping, my mother took my shopping, my aunts too me shopping, my neighbor took me shopping. Like a true Jersey Girl, the mall was my second home.

On one shopping trip came the fateful "Would you like to apply for our store card?" OMG! From Macys? My favorite store? Of course I would!

The day that credit card came in the mail was amazing. I couldn't wait to start using it! I could buy SO MUCH STUFF! I had a $500 limit!

What started with Macys escalated into other store cards. Sterns, Steinbachs (this was the 80's people!), JC Penney, even Sears!

I had so many credit cards that I had a separate credit card wallet to carry them all.

Those cards have been maxed out and paid off more times than I can count. Ok, the maxed out part I can't count. The paid off I can. Because every time I paid them off I would tell myself, oh I'll just charge this one thing. HA! The vicious cycle continued.

First I got a loan for $10,000 from my grandmother. I paid everything off and methodically paid back my grandmother a month at a time. I was charging again before I made 10 payments to her.

I didn't want to take another loan, so I got a second job. I worked full time as a bank teller and part time as a waitress. Just to pay my credit card bills. Did I learn my lesson? No.

The second time I paid off my credit cards was in 1994 when I moved to California. I was going to start college at the ripe old age of 23 and I wanted to start fresh. Again, I will give you a guess how that went.

This ridiculous game has continued on my entire adult life. Well, here I am. I am nearly 38 years old. I am in debt to my eyeballs. And I am going to change it. For real this time. I swear. Really.

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