Sunday, November 05, 2006

Are Credit Cards to Blame?

I guess I should start with my first rant about whether or not credit cards are really to blame for the debt people are in. I think no, but I am willing to hear other sides of the argument. My viewpoint is that people create debt, be it credit cards, mortgages, car loans, student loans or what not. But it should be personal responsibility that decides how much to borrow.

That being said, no one is holding a gun to someone's head and saying spend, spend, spend on the credit card. No one is telling someone if they don't buy the item they will die. It's a personal decision that you must have someone you cannot afford. How do I know you can't afford it? Well then you would be able to pay for it either in cash or in full when the credit card bill comes. I think it's the mentality that buying stuff on the credit card isn't cash. To me, how I was raised and have always thought about it is that whether you purchase it with cash or credit, it's still money you already spent so stop spending if you haven't got it. I luckily married a guy who feels the same way.

I don't understand how people say they didn't understand how credit cards work. Did people grow up in cave? Does the idea that you have to pay for what you charged seem outrageous? Or is it more likely that what you bought should pay for? It's a really strange thing occurring where people blame lack of financial knowledge, yet have used CC for 10+ years. They never felt like waking up before?

But I have to also say that some people can't keep credit cards because they are unable to manage their finances properly. And for those people the temptation will always be to great. My grandfather is one of those people, and probably the sole reason why everyone in my family is anti-debt, but not anti credit card. Everyone uses it, but to imagine owning after what they all went through. No way!

But for everyone in debt try finding Dave Ramsey. I will post on his baby steps which I think are great for people who are terrible with money, in debt, and need some serious straightening out. I also like Suze Orman, Mary Hunt, and a few others.

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