Credit cards shouldn’t be allowed until you are 30

Warning: this is going to be a long, wordy post.

 

Hi!!! I have mentioned on several occasions how broke I am and one of the main reasons for that is…….my stunning credit card debt. I will go into more detail in a minute but here are some staggering things I have been realizing lately……I have not had a zero balance on a credit card since I first got one at 18. That is 11 years!!! I have been in debt for more than a decade!!!!!!!!!! I also pay $500/month in credit card bills!!!!!!!!!!!!! How did I not realize it was that much? If I didn’t have credit card bills I would be rolling in it.

WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????????

Don’t get me wrong this whole situation is my fault and I understand that and am not making excuses. But I think there are some things inherently wrong with the way our society handles credit cards and what is ingrained into us at a very young age.

Not only do we have society telling me that we NEED all these different things, I grew up with a dad who bought what he wanted when he wanted and tried to buy some of our affection with things. Don’t get me wrong I love my dad and he was a great dad but no one is perfect and this was one of his faults.

I never knew that you couldn’t just go out and buy whatever you want, my mom was great and didn’t want us kids to worry about things so I never knew we were in debt or lived paycheck to paycheck or that my mom never bought things for herself because my dad was always overspending. I am kind of torn on whether I think that was 100% the correct approach or not, on the one hand I never worried about money and had a carefree childhood as children should but maybe it wouldn’t have taken me over a decade of digging myself a hole if I had been a little more aware of dads spending problems. IDK. Either way my mom is awesome so I lucked out there.

Society tells us from day one we need credit; want to rent an apartment? you need credit. want to buy a car? you need credit. want to buy a house? you need credit. It seems for everything in todays world you need credit, and what is the easiest way to get that, open a credit card the day you turn 18. And that is just about what I did, I turned 18 in April and by September I had my first shiny credit card with a $500 limit.

I kept my spending relatively in check and paid my minimum payment on time and after a little while that credit limit jumped up to $750. Woohoo!!!!! Still I couldn’t get into too much trouble with that amount, even maxed out the minimum monthly payment was $25.

Then the trouble started, my bank sent me a credit card with a $2,500 limit…….that is a little easier to get into trouble. It didn’t take me long to get both cards up near their limits, but I always paid the minimum amount required so all was well in the credit world. Apparently if you continually pay your bills on time they up your credit limit!!! Suddenly I look at my statement and I have a 4,900 credit limit! Sadly all I see is oh I have 2k available to me…….oooh that is a cute top I need that, oh I need Starbucks every day, oh Christmas presents for everyone! I feel like getting a massage and a facial, I am bummed out while living in the dorm and decide to go to 3 movies in a row and buy soda and food for each one to escape for the day. I’m gonna order a pizza and on and on and on it went. Both of those card have hovered within about 5% of their limit since a few months after I got each one.

Even that wasn’t too bad, between the two my minimum monthly payment totaled about $150.

Than about a year and a half ago I got beyond stupid. I had discovered my love for travel and thought I need a card with miles so I can get free airline tickets and use points for anything to do with travel, so I opened a 3rd credit card and the limit they gave me was stupid. And they had the “if you spend 3k in 3 months you get 60,000 bonus miles”, so I spent on anything and everything to hit that 3k and get those miles, and they did come in handy but I just kept spending and suddenly that card is maxed out and the monthly minimum payment is $300!!!!

I am in quite a bit of debt now and it is completely my own doing but I do think that maybe we should make people wait until they are older to get a credit card, until they are more responsible, or maybe limit the number of cards they can have until a certain time and definitely limit the amount of credit.

I also whole-heartedly think we need to teach kids budgeting and real life money management in high school. It has taken me over a decade to realize that I have a problem and need to change my thinking, but I am doing it and one day I will be out of debt.

About 2 months ago I cut up my first credit card!!!!!!!!!!!!! It will be paid off by the end of this year, big smiles!!!!!! Obviously it is that small one but every dollar counts! Cutting up that card felt wonderful and horrible all at the same time, I felt like cutting it up was wrong, like I would get in trouble for doing it. It was weird but I am so glad that I did, because as the balance goes down I cannot recharge on it and that is so important.

I am not perfect and I still have days where I want things I don’t need and days when I buy something I don’t need to or don’t have the money for. I am a work in progress but I am quite happy to say that progress is being made!!! And I am keeping an eagle’s eye watch on my credit score and the credit I have available on that card because seeing the progress helps.

I am so lucky to have a wonderful support system (MOM) who has helped me start taking these steps and start learning that I can still have things but it needs to be responsibly and in moderation.

If you have gotten yourself into the mess I have or feel like you might not have control over your spending, talk to someone. Don’t let it ruin your life.

Debtors Anonymous | Official Website

http://www.spenders.org/about.html

Check out the movie “Confessions of a Shopaholic” they overdramatize it but I can definitely relate to a few things in that movie. Plus it is adorable.

Thanks for reading my crazy long post.

Since I’ve been gone

So last week and the beginning of this week were rough for me. I have battled depression and mood highs and lows since i was 16. I have seen therapists and physiologists. I have been a bindge drinker, bindge eater and cutter. Thankfully after my dad died my mom and brother found me a great Dr who didn’t just prescribe meds but took the time to work through my, at the time current, issues and teach me tools to pull myself out of that dark place when i went there. He knew it would be a lifelong battle for me and probably saved my life. Before him i was headed down a bad path. I have never been and will never be ashamed of past or of the fact that i deal with this. Feeling the extreme lows also means I get to feel the extreme highs, I get to love deeper and more often then most people becuase I wear my emotions on my sleeve. Yes it can be difficult and painful but it can also be joyous and wonderous. I will have an adventure filled life, the battle is simply to do it on a healthy way which is why i am so passionate about eating healthy and being active. 

That being said lets catch up. 

My sweet coworker got me flowers and candy to cheer me up om the anniversary of my dads death


Friday Artemis and I got up with the sun and went for the shortest run ever lol

I wasnt super happy about getting out of bed lol

Friday night we went to the vet, Artemis had to get her shots. Shes up to date and protected now!

Then we relaxed to make sure she didnt have any reactions

Saturday we pretty much just relaxed and she slept a lot. Recovering from the shots

I caught this wonderful picture when she yawned

Saturday night/Sunday morning i hit rock bottom and took a nap after only being awake an hour then layed in bed and cried. I made myself get out of bed and go for a walk with Artemis 

We went 3 miles. And i reached out to family and friends to keep an eye on me for self-destructive behavior. 

After the walk i went grocery shopping and did meal prep

I love to cook so this helped my mood a lot. 

Each day i am climbing out of the dark. Today was a good day and i am almost back to normal! Thankfully these lows only happen 2-3 times a year depending on the year sometimes even less. 

Went for a walk with the roommate tonight 

And my cowoker finished a really interesting book and gave it to me to ready. Only on the 2md chapter and im hooked! Can’t wait to keeo reading

Thats it for me!!

If anyone ever suffers from suicidal thoughts or self-destructive behavior or severe depression please reach out to someone. You are not alone, i know it feels like you are, but you are not. 

A relaxing morning, a planned hike and guilt

Yes! Thursday is half way through and tomorrow is Friday! I am really looking forward to Friday at 6pm, not just because work is over but because I have a running date!!!!! This is going to be like my perfect date and I am super stoked, I just wish it wasn’t going to be 90, but oh well. But more on that tomorrow night.

After running twice yesterday I slept in this morning, oh man I needed it. And I got some puppy cuddles which was wonderful.  

It is my lunch right now so I used the emergency  $5 I have started keeping tucked in my purse  (for when my funds run out before my next paycheck)

And bought myself a much needed starbucks 

Now I am sitting in the shade of starbucks relaxing before I have to go back to work. I needed to get away from the office and take a deep breathe. 

Anywho on an awesome note my roommate and I have planned our labor day hike!!!!! I think it’s going to be amazing!!!! Difficult I’m sure but awesome. The guilt comes from the fact that dogs aren’t allowed on this trail so the pups have to be left behind. Artemis will be mad at me. 

I can’t believe Artemis and I are coming up on our 1 year anniversary!!! I got her in November of last year. We’ll have to do something special. 
Big shout out to my awesome mom who is tiding me over until my next paycheck. Moving wiped out my finances this month and I know some overdraft fees would be coming if she wasn’t helping me out and a shout out to my brother who is sending me some money at the beginning of next month to help get me started on the right foot next month. 

Thank goodness for family. I don’t know where I would be without them. 

And now I should start thinking about heading back to work……..but I really dont want to. I want to go home to my puppy.

My small life

It’s funny how our lives  lives go through cycles, this time last year my life and my community consisted of hudreds of through hikers and through hiking blog readers. Some of that is still a part of my life, i may not be a through hiker but i am a hiker. But now i am back in Oregon and my life consists of going to work, working out, hanging at home with my dog and the occasional date. Yes i am part of the running community and am becoming part of the triathlon community but i am very much alone up here.

Don’t worry this is not a pity party post.

But really, none of my immediate family is here, i have no close friends here. The one wonderful woman i hung out with on a regular basis moved to the other side of the country. I am averaging seeing 1 other woman and her fiance about once every other month. But that is it. So it’s time to take the bull by the horns.

I have made exercise a priority and now meeting people will be as well.

I have joined 2 book groups and RSVP’d to these groups April event so yay.

Also i joined a few running groups and RSVP’d to a short run the weekend after the tulip festival ends. I WILL put myself out there. I need to build a base of people here.

If you are interested in meeting people I used Meetup.com there is something for everyone.

On a side note i got lots of planting done last night!

image

Planted 3 small rows of onions in this 10 gal smart pot

image

Got 2 rows lf corn and peas in each brown planter and planted 2 potatoes in the potato bag

image

The bottom opens for easy harvesting!

How are you?
How long did it take you to establish your base of people where you live now?
How did you do it?

Dual workout and barkbox

Woke up at 3:30 this morning!!!!! Though i laid in bed and played on my phone and cuddled with the dog until 4. Hit the gym and did 20 min the water.

image

With workout 1 done i changed for workout 2

image

Spin class.
I knew it was going to be a hard day when i rolled out of bed this morning  and was sore all over from training and running yesterday.
Spinning was good

image

image

My waterbottle was at that point where it was starting to get gross so i broke down and out it in the dish washer. Bought gatorade at the gym

image

My new favorite flavor, glacial frost.

image

The delicious cheese i think i mentioned yesterday.
Today was ice cream sundae day at work

image

I tried to be good and not go overboard. The first half was delicous then i started feeling horrible but eat these kinds of sweets so infrequently that i forced myself to finish it and felt bloated and gross for like 2 hours. Old habits die hard.

image

My new vitamins arrived. I track my food in myfitnesspal and one of the things it has shown me is that i never hit my daily calcium goal so i will start taking these a few days a week to combat that a bit.

image

Barkbox came today!!!!! I love opening these boxes!!!

image

image

image

image

image

It is always interesting to see what Artemis is going to like toy wise and what she is going to ignore. Anything Artemis doesn’t want Jasper, my roommates dog, will eventually adopt as his own.

I am feeling a little lonely tonight. I miss having a boyfriend, i miss having my girls around for dinner dates and coffee dates. I am doing a lot better with my  breakup and getting back out there but some nights i still get really sad and lonely. Mostly when i disappointed by the state of men and dating today and get depressed that I’ll never find someone.
This too shall pass.

Well thats it on my end.

How was your day?

TGIF

Happy Friday!!! Like so many Americans i live for the weekends.
Today will be a short and sweet post.

Got up and took Artemis for a walk/jog before work. I think thats a really good time to walk her because there are less people out and about. I think as it continues to warm up we will be good running buddies.

image

I thought that was a good quote.

image

Reached my step goal! Woot Woot!

image

The tomatoes and peppers are doing awesome!!!!

image

I am so grateful for my sweet girl. She has cuddled with me many a night that i have cried or just needed some cuddles during this breakup and all the drama with it. I am sad again tonight and having her here is a great comfort.

Goodnight i hope you had a great Friday night!

Tough Tuesday

Howdy!

Yesterday was back to work after the weekend.

I’m having a hard time right now. I’ve been very up and down lately with my mood. I feel like i am constantly fighting off depression, thank goodness for working out.

image

Today’s running quote.

 

I made coffee today! Yay me. Gotta cut costs when i can.

image

Snacks!!!

image

Today’s workout

image

image

Not bad for my first ‘run’. I think I’m going to like the  couch to half marathon training plan.

image

I got post run kisses :mrgreen:

I hate being depressed and i am trying to figure out what is causing it so i can fix it.  I’ll keep you posted.

How was your Monday?

Have you workout yet this week?