Friday, July 16, 2010

Credit Cards, Only the Beginning

I love credit and I hate it. I am sure that most people feel the same way. We have become a credit society. We spend, banking on the fact that we can pay back in the future.  And that was true for many of us for a long time. I am not at all sure that is true for us anymore.

Our parents recall when we were a cash-based society.  If we didn't have it at the moment, we didn't spend it.  I am not necessarily advocating a return to a cash based society, but I wonder where we will end up if we maintain our present course of spending, both individually and as a nation.

I am not a pundit, nor am I an economist.  But I am looking at hard numbers in my case and trying to figure out what to do as I increasingly feel the absence of our governmental safety net.  Too many people are in debt. The country is in an amazing amount of debt. It is estimated that in 2010, the debt will be 94.27% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  That seems amazing to me.

As bad as my personal monetary issues are, the country's monetary issues are worse in some ways. At present, my debt amount doesn't equal 94% of my income.

However, we have almost $20,000 in credit card debt, a mortgage, and a large, and I do mean large student loan.  So, within the next 5 years, my goal is to pay off the credit card debt.  The student loan amount is an issue for another blog or two.

So, the plan is to stop charging at least for now, to make more than the minimum payment due, each month, on time.  This month was good. I got the bills out on time and paid more than the minimum on all of them.

Did I forget to say that we graduated one child from college in May and the other child is half-way through?  Yes, congratulations are in order, perhaps to everyone concerned. 

Now it is time to catch up!

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