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 save.ca 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.