The Fourth Promise of Debtors Anonymous says that we will begin to live a prosperous life, unencumbered by fear, worry, resentment or debt.
I have been debt free for four years now and I am living a prosperous life. By “prosperous” I don’t mean I’m rolling in money. What I am is free of fear. I can wake up in the morning and not worry how I am going to pay the mortgage. How can I make a payment on a credit card when I have no food in the house? Those type of questions were with me from the minute I awoke to the minute I fell asleep.
It was a horrible way to live. The sad part about it was that even though I hated living like that I kept it alive for many years. I couldn’t let people know how broke I was, so I played the game of being a big spender and used credit cards to go deeper into debt.
I would go on holidays for a week to ten days and the whole time never use a penny. Instead the whole excursion was paid for with credit. From getting petrol, to meals, to nights in hotels, to acquiring souvenirs… every financial transaction was paid for with credit. Than every night, I would call an 800 number to see how much more credit I had. When one card was maxed out, I used another. Of course, I couldn’t go on a holiday with just one credit card… I needed at least two and preferably three. There was one trip where I had four credit cards and that was a holiday for a king!!!
Those holidays quickly ended when the next month came and bills arrived in the mail. First thought was to apply for another credit card and condense them all onto the new one and make only one payment. Sadly though, by maxing everything out getting a new card was impossible.
So the struggle began to pay back those cards with just minimum payments. Every month got harder and harder to keep up. Every month also got more stressful as people would ask when the next big holiday would come.
Today, holidays are paid for with cash. They are budgeted and worked for. They are stress free and worry free. At the end of a holiday, there isn’t any worries about how it would be paid for because it is already paid for.
Nothing beats cold hard cash. All the credit in the world doesn’t mean much if there is no legitimate plan to pay it back…