freedom (or, the $17,000 iPod)

by Amy

On my lunch break today, I decided to check on something to see if I could FINALLY share my jubilation with the world.

I can.

For probably the first time since I was 17 or 18 years old, I have no credit card debt.

This doesn’t count the brief few months when I took a personal loan from my mom to get out from under my debt, and then… opened up more credit cards. To “rebuild my credit.” Except I bought things. Many things. Things I couldn’t afford, when you added them all up. 

Let me tell you. You might pay now, or you might pay later. But trust me, you will pay.

Make it easy on yourself and pay now. Don’t buy things that you can’t afford. Save up and pay cash when it makes sense.

It might be too much information, but I’m going to tell it: by the time I sought help through a credit counseling agency, my credit debt was over $13,000. I could not keep up with the monthly payments due to being laid off, moving, and subsequently being under-employed.

I have paid almost $17,000 in the past 25 months. I have sent in bonuses and windfalls. I have sent in $400 extra per month. I grew to loathe my monthly statement and viewed it as my personal enemy. Cash was the only weapon against it.

So, right now, I can say with pride – I defeated my monthly statement. It has been reduced to a giant line of zeros down the side of the page.

I am credit card debt-free.

The sad thing about all of that spending is that I have nothing to show for it that I remember buying. Except my iPod. I wanted a pink one when they first came out with the Nano, and, truth be told, that was the reason that I signed up for that first credit card (of NINE) in 2006.

The $17,000 iPod. Not quite worth it.