Stephanie's Group Blog Thursday today is about freebies. I actually have very little advice to give on getting stuff for free. I do go to and print up coupons, and I do enter contests and giveaways when I can, but that's about the extent of me finding things for free. What actually made me want to post when I saw Stephanie's blog today was that she talked about her credit card rewards. And I have some very strong opinions (who ME?!) on credit cards.

When the Captain and I graduated from university and headed cross-country to find our fortunes, we were in some debt. Certainly not the kind of debt a lot of people come out of school with these days, but for two out-of-work kids with rent to pay, the $30,000 or so we did owe was overwhelming and caused us huge amounts of worry. So, when we both got good jobs that paid better than anything we'd ever had before, we set about the task of paying off that debt and acquiring some savings for the future. It was the best thing we could've done.

We lived like college students on his income, and used mine to pay down the debt and build up that nest egg. And when the credit cards and student loans were paid off, it was like a huge weight had been lifted. We rarely argued about money, and we rarely do now, and I think that is probably the biggest gift in all of this. So many marriages are bogged down with that extra stress, and frankly, marriage can be hard enough without it.

So if I was to be asked for advice on this (because giving out unwanted advice is not something anyone should get in the habit of, and I've also never dealt with $200,000 in student loans like many of you out there have, so I'm no expert on serious crippling debt), I'd tell anyone coming out of school to keep living poor, and pay down those debts as best you can. In the end, you'll appreciate the inner peace more than you would the fancy car or the leather furniture that credit card can get you.


Alissa said…
Great advice. Credit cards are a nice convenience, that can become dangerous when bad times hit.
Stephanie Faris said…
I went through the struggle to get out of debt too. That's one thing that really made me hesitate before posting today's blog. I certainly don't want to encourage people to get credit fact, I'm VERY against it! I think it's easy for me right now because my finances are my own. Where I had problems was within a marriage. I am not the type to tell someone else how to spend his/her money, so I let it get out of control. But he fixed it, so I have to give him credit for that.
AngeliStarr said…
UGH Personally I HATE and LOATHE credit cards. My mom has showed me how bad debt can get and how much out of hand credit can get also. It pisses me off. It also adds another level of stress. I dont liek debt. PERIOD. Its why I dont have school loans for my undergrad. (IF and When I start my MA in a year or 2, thats a different story.) The worst part is that we need credit cards. Theyre substantial to living and getting ahead in life. You cant do shit without credit. If you want a house, you need credit, new car, credit. Things like that and other things need credit. To rent apt's these days, you need a credit check. What kind of crap is that??! I wanted to start building my credit, yet didnt qualify for almost no credit card because I didnt have a credit history. I was denied 3 times. I had to give into asking my dad to put me under his credit cards. So now I have joint credit. FML. His bills are now mine. FML! Anyway... I hate credit cards. Thats my point. =)
knitwit said…
I know what you're saying Stephanie. And I definitely don't mean to suggest that credit cards themselves are all bad. I know a number of people who use them wisely and fly home on the airmiles they've accumulated on them a couple of times a year. So there are certainly positives. It's just one of those things that you have to be SO careful with so you don't dig yourself a hole you can't get out of! Credit is a slippery slope!
The Blonde Duck said…
Popped in to say hi! I'm not a mom yet, but that's great advice even for DINKS like us!
AngeliStarr said…
THanks for the comment! You are so right. I just have to deal I guess =/ its all a part of growing up right?
Tater Tot Mom said…
That's great advice and it took us a long time to learn our lesson. Hubby and I met at the tail end of college and we'd both succomb to credit card trolls(they set up shop at tables in front of the student union giving away t-shirts and stuff for signing your life away with credit cards). We have finally gotten out of credit card debt but still have student loans! They suck!

Right now we are trying to live by cash only and saving some for the future. We don't use credit at all. It gets tough sometimes but at least we know we are living within our means!
LMJ said…
It's good advice. I wish Hubby and I had done that. Before, we were DINKS. We spent like the world was going to end tomorrow. We have an addition to the family, and am learning how to be a smart spender. We only have two credit cards which we pay off immediately to avoid paying the interest. We have one for online shopping, and the other one for airline tickets rewards.
Kacey R. said…
This is awesome advice! Debt can lead to so many other issues in life other than the simple act of figuring out how to pay it all back. We have worked to be totally debt free - including cars - except for the house. That is our next step. But we're all cash all of the time and it just takes the guess work out of things. In my humble opinion, people just shouldn't buy what they can't afford. That is not to say that I do not want those $90 boots I saw the other day that just screamed "BUY ME!" I had to walk away, but that just means I'll be back with my saved up $$ to by them....and give them time to go on sale. Right? LOL
Hey girl! Yes, stand up straight! I always want to tell he tall ones to stop slouching because it just looks like they are defeated by the world :O(

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