Saturday, November 10, 2007

Cash or Charge?

As anyone who knows me will tell you I have had my share of debt in the past. Ok... who are we fooling here? I still have my share of debt it just happens to be that now we owe the bulk of it to my parents instead of to the credit card company. Let me tell you the interest is much better that way but I still don't feel much better about it.

Anyhow, I am cleaning my office this weekend... wait we have to pause now while Jess picks herself up off the floor. You alright there?? Do you need a moment to gather your composure?

Ok... moving on...

Part of cleaning the office is getting rid of old paperwork. As a general rule I am a thrower. If I don't need it or haven't used it in awhile I chuck it. My theory is if I need it again I will buy another one. However, this part of my psychie has NOT carried over into my office.

When it comes to paperwork I have drawers upon drawers of old receipts. Would you like to know what I bought for groceries in July of 1999 I can probably tell you. No really... let me just dig a little and ... ok... maybe not.

I seem to have inherited my mom's affliction for saving these things. The difference being she runs a business and needs these receipts for tax purposes, I on the other hand just need them in case, some day I might want to know how many times I ordered pizza when I was in college.

So, I have decided to downsize. I'm going through all of my old file folders and throwing out anything that is older than a year and doesn't pertain to my taxes. If it is older than a year I'm not going to need a receipt to take it back and I'm not going to need a statement to challenge a charge so the reason I'm hanging on to these things is what?

So far I've thrown out 1999 & 2000 and am moving my way through 2001 and the one common theme I've noticed is even back then I put a LOT of useless CRAP on credit cards. And the funny part is I haven't figured out why I did it. My parents helped me when I was in college. I didn't NEED to charge anything I could have just purchased it out right.

Especially the things I was charging. Groceries, stuff at Target, Christmas Presents. I racked up thousands of dollars of debt before I ever left college all because why? Because I needed something or because I wanted to prove I could pay my own way. Who was I kidding? No one can pay their own way working 20 hours a week for $6.35 per hour.

Now, I'm stuck with all of this debt wishing I could go back and kick myself. Just pay it off idiot!! You don't want to be stuck paying on those groceries from 2001 in 2007 do you?

I guess the good part of me looking through all of this is it is slowly making me realize that I need to be MUCH more selective about what I spend my money on** so that someday, possibly in 2056, we can know what it's like to not have a credit card bill to pay.

**Yes, french fries covered in cheese and bacon are a necessity... don't question me on this, it is not up for discussion!!