My Credit Card Is Dead! Long Live Freedom!

by Ron Haynes

Today, my credit card died. But it was an untimely death, one that should have happened a long time ago. Today the old bat is pushing up daisies, with big X’s over its eyes.

The balance is ZERO! Woo Hoo! Let’s celebrate!

I haven’t been credit card debt free since 2002, and even then, I had been credit card debt free for only a couple of years. Since 1988 I have had credit card debt for all but two years. That’s 18 years of debt that is now gone for good and here are the reasons why:

I’ve realized how destructive credit card debt can be. It’s destructive in more ways that just the high interest and the financial bondage I’ve suffered under.

Credit card debt is a lie.

It’s a lie that I can have whatever I want with “easy payments.”
It’s a lie that I can “pay it off any time I want.”
It’s a lie that I deserve it.
It’s a lie that “it’s so convenient.”
It’s a lie that I need the airline miles.
It’s a lie that “I need it to build credit.”
It’s a lie that I’m in control.
It’s a lie that I only use it in “emergencies.”
It’s a lie that I only got it for the T-shirt.

Credit card debt is financial meth.

It drew me in, promising big screen TV’s, fancy electronic gadgets, plush new furniture, super 4 wheel ATV’s, and glorious vacations. Credit card debt is worse than keeping up with the Joneses because it convinced me that I could be the Joneses that everyone else hoped to keep up with. It suckered me into thinking I “needed” things to be happy…and I so easily believed it. The truth is: I wanted to believe it.

So, what’s different this time about being credit card debt free? Well, this time, I’m willing to admit those lies were lies I told myself. That’s a big step in the right direction. This time, I have my head on straight. I’m much more focused on my financial future and getting OUT of debt rather than focused acquiring “stuff.” I’ve realized that “stuff” only clutters up my life, my mind, and my garage. All that “stuff” will one day have a $1.50 sticker on it and be sitting in my driveway under a sign that reads “YARD SALE.”

Since December of 2007, my wife and I have paid off $12,000 in credit card debt. How did we do it? I used a large chunk of my bonus, took some money out of savings, used my Federal tax refund, used my state refund, used my Economic Stimulus check, and doubled the amount I was paying on a regular basis by saving money on food using The Grocery Game.

What’s left on our debt plan is to pay off my daughter’s braces and then my wife’s minivan. Those two debts along with the old amount I was paying on the credit card will free up a great deal of cash that I can use toward paying off my student loans. With the amount I’ll now be paying per month, they won’t last long. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel!

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1001 articles on The Wisdom Journal.


The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.


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{ 19 comments }

Patrick

Awesome! If you keep up your plan to snowball your debt, not only will you have it paid off extremely quickly, but you will find yourself with a very nice surplus of cash every month. That’s when you get to have fun investing it and watching compound interest work for you instead of you working for compound interest! :)

Ron

#Patrick→

Thanks Patrick! After all these years, I could use a little surplus…actually I could use a lot of surplus,

Emily

Congratulations, Ron!! :grin:

Ron

#Emily→

Thank you Emily! I appreciate your encouragement! :D

Four Pillars

Way to go Ron!

Very encouraging news – keep up the debt murder spree! :)

Mike

Ron

#Four Pillars→

Thanks Mike! I could easily become serial with this spree…

Frugal Dad

That is the best news I’ve ever read here at The Wisdom Journal! Awesome job destroying the credit card debt! Take the family out for a cash dinner to celebrate your new-found freedom!

Ron

#Frugal Dad→

Thanks Frugal Dad! That’s a great idea.

fathersez

Congrats, Ron.

You have served the credit card industry to your loss long enough.

Now that you have finally buried the card, keep doing what you are doing excellently now. Guiding your readers on self development and personal finance.

And just because you have paid off your cc debt, don’t forget to continue preaching to the uninitiated about the perils of CC’s.

Best regards

Jeff@My Super-Charged Life

Congrats! Doesn’t it feel great to get one paid off and be free from it? We just paid off a home equity loan a couple of months ago. It was our last debt besides our mortgage! It is awesome to be in the position that Patrick describes above.

The really great thing is that now when credit card commercials come on TV, my seven year old boos and hisses. With all the talk in the house about Dave Ramsey and being debt-free, she is getting a great education that will no doubt serve her well. I am so happy to be leaving a postive legacy for my children to follow! You are too!

Becky@FamilyandFinances

These economic stimulus checks seem to have a habit of helping people pay off their cards – Lynnae just announced the same thing this morning. WhooHoo!!!

ericabiz

Congratulations! This is a huge milestone. I paid off all my credit cards in October 07, have been paying them off in full every month, and now have 5 figures in a savings account. I started a budget and decided to stop wasting a ton of money buying stuff I didn’t need.

This is the kind of stuff that should be celebrated WAY more often in our society.

-Erica

Aaron Stroud

Ron, doesn’t it feel good to be working for yourself instead of MASTERcard? (Thanks for the mention.) I deserve it thinking can be pretty dangerous, but even simple marketing gimics can be enough to start a life of debt.

For example, 0% interest deals make a lot of mathmatical sense. If you couldn’t negotiate a lower price with cash, you may as well buy it with a 0% deal. The strange thing is, it’s hard to take joy in your possessions when you don’t really own them. Your wife’s minivan is going to drive much smoother when the two of you own it from bumper to bumper.

Ron

#Aaron Stroud→

It really IS hard to enjoy those things you don’t really own. I think there’s a psychological lever that gets tripped when we work hard to save the money for something that makes us enjoy it more.

fivecentnickel.com

Nice work, Ron.

Ron

#fivecentnickel.com→

Thanks Nickel!

Mrs. Micah

Awesome, Ron! :)

Brip Blap

Congratulations! That’s a great achievement, and now you can start turning your attention to the fun stuff – building wealth!

Steve

jj-fad

Congratulations Ron!

It is a great feeling to be debt free. It’s like no other.

I’m with you… goal was to get rid of all my debt before my 30th birthday (in 1 week). i made it!!

student loan paid off at 28, then car and cc at 29).

started plan in ’02. got serious in ’06.

I have $30 in my savings account, but i don’t owe a SINGLE person. 35%-60% of my income will now go to my savings. so SCREW THEM ALL!!!

If we have to slave – i mean work – everyday of our lives, let us lessen the burden by getting the highest return for our hard work – ALL SAVINGS, MORE TIME, NO BILLS, AND WEALTH!!

NO BILLS = LOTS OF FUN!!!

I thank God for giving me the insight to see the light to secure my future as best I can.

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