As a debtor, I have to say that living without credit is hard (especially as a debtor in a ONE-income family of 4). I’m being transparent here, so be gentle if you respond in my comments section. Kev and I just broke down and bought something on credit after two years of being “credit card free” (aside from Old Navy – which in our case is a necessity and rarely used). Most of our debt is in the form of vehicle loans (2), college loans (1), unsecured loans that we took out when it took 8 months to sell our home and my husband was commuting between cities (almost paid off now… just 500$ left), a government loan due to a flood (1), family loans (3), and of course, the Old Navy card. So, you see, most of our “plastic” debt has already been paid off. Our main debt, aside from transportation, is due to circumstances that were out of our control… and the lack of having any sort of “nest egg” to cover said circumstances. If you include the vehicles, our debt is a hefty number… and our monthly payments are outrageous. We’ve been nearly two years without adding extra to the debt pile (other than a few minor loans here and there from family)… until today.
Kev and I broke down and ordered a Dell Computer online. Kevin has been asking me to let him buy me a computer for over a year now. I am forever having trouble with the slow outdated one I use. This year alone, it has crashed two or three times. Now that I am running a Vista Beta version on it, it is slower than a snail. Even so, I almost couldn’t force myself to click the button when it finally came time to apply for that Dell Preferred card. I shudder even thinking of it.
I’ve worked so hard to stay away from any more debt. For the past few years we haven’t even bought any gifts for Christmas other than ONE for each member of our immediate family (4 total). I’ve worked so hard to finally tread water and see the scales tip in our favor. $800 more of debt is like waving the white flag of surrender to me. Maybe I’ll feel differently once the shipment arrives and that brand new 20 inch flat panel and my super fast PC pops out of the box. No more waiting a few minutes between clicks for me. Imagine how much time that will save in my day! Our piles of PC junk, stacks of software, and ancient towers have finally seen their last daylight around here. I banish them to storage indefinitely!
So… when is it OK to fall off the bandwagon and use a little plastic? I wish I could feel OK about it… and actually enjoy the fact that a new PC is on its way down my “chimney”. But I don’t like credit cards and owing money – I see it as slavery, pure and simple. I also don’t believe in filing bankruptcy… I believe you should pay what you owe – even to “evil” credit card companies. Somehow I just don’t see that “Santa” and the “American Way” is really what Christmas is about… and all this prolific shopping and mall-scene stuff for the holidays really bums me out. I dream of cabins in the snow (far away from civilization) for Christmas. I wish there was a way to escape how commercial it has become.
Maybe I should post a debt ticker on my sidebar to keep track of how my debt is doing and keep me accountable. Do any of you have one like that? Am I the only debtor out there this holiday season? Hellooooooo out there?