When I was younger I started off with only one credit card. I made small purchases at the age of 18 on it each month. Nothing crazy just a tank of gas or for groceries. I would then pay off the balance, when the bill came due. For two years I would purchase small things on my card and pay it off hoping to help my Credit score.
At age 20, I was pre-approved for a Home loan of $35,000. I started house hunting immediately because at the time I had rented for 4 years. Having a landlord can be both a blessing and a nightmare. My last landlord was horrible and never seemed to want to fix the problems in his building. Finally, I had enough and put an offer down on a house. A three bedroom two story home with an attached garage and good sized yard. My closing came in at around $32,500. Since I was young I felt I had a pretty good handle on my money.
This is a Collaboration post.
Unfortunately, even the best laid plans can be broken. During my late twenties I entered into a few relationships leaving me flashing money around to show I was worthy of their affection. My Credit Card debt started to escalate well over what I could manage to pay. After a particular hard break up I was also left with Utility bills, Gas bills and student loans totally in the thousands. I was drowning in debt and still struggled to make ends meet.
“The average U.S. household with credit card debt has an estimated $6,8291 in revolving balances, or balances carried from one month to the next”
I finally gave in and decided to consolidate my debt and file a Chapter 13. More than anything I wanted to save my home I had worked so hard for. This managed the collectors by taking all of my debt and only making payments on it as a lump sum instead of individually. It took about five years to fully pay of the debt but worth the time invested. Now, I am extremely careful with money and always have a “rainy day fund”.
If I could give you some advice: watch where your money goes. We spend money on wants so easily. When I think of purchasing now I think “Do I need this”? “Will I still want it in 2-5 years?” If I can’t answer “yes” chances are I don’t REALLY need it. If you are struggling with debt meet with a Credit attorney. They can give you options that you may not have even knew existed.