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My Awful Past :|:|:|

Circa 2003. It was a quiet afternoon. I just came home from work. I was tired. I asked my good friend if she can give me a ride to the post office. She said she’s going to check her mail anyways so why not. I said cool. And so we went. I opened my mailbox and there I found one mail. Just one mail. It was from Capital One. I was tired but this one was an energy booster! Seriously. Stronger than a redbull. More potent than two shots of caffeine at Starbucks!  I opened it. Drum roll please!!! Oh my gawd!!!

A CREDIT CARD!!!

My very first credit card…in my whole life!!! Ever!

I was so feeling the rush…to the point that even Da Vinci couldn’t paint the excitement on my face. I immediately dialed that toll free number on the sticker of the card as if my life depended on it! It’s like dialing 911. I activated the card in a matter of minutes not even bothering to read the fine prints. Neither did I bother to read the 18.99% APR nor cared about the $39.00 over the limit fee and other fees etc etc. All I wanted to do at the time was to activate it and then use it!!

Thirty minutes later…you bet!!! My friend and I are in the store! My first stop. Electronics! My eyes were all hearts and dollar signs and I can just put that yellow smiley sign into shame if you’ve just seen the smile in my face at that very moment.

So I walked into the T.V. aisle inspecting every television meticulously. This will be my very first T.V. afterall so it has to be perfect. The size. The picture quality. The sound. It has to be perfect. I bought a flat screen. 32 inches. Swiped my plastic. Signed the receipt. Ka-ching!! One down.

But wait! I said to myself. My television experience won’t be complete without a DVD player! Hello. Where will I play that Underworld DVD that my cousin bought for me from the Philippines? Cut it short, I bought one. Another Ka-ching! Two down.

Ha! Where will I put my T.V. and DVD player? You guessed it right! T.V. stand. Sweet. Ka ching! Three down.

Three down in a day!

One Week Later…

…I bought my very first stereo which I still have up to this day. I take good care of my things. And of course, it won’t be complete if I don’t have the latest Celine Dion cds. It won’t be complete if I didn’t buy this and that and those. Ka-ching! Ka-ching! Ka-ching!

I can enumerate more and more but the bottom line is…I was a spending maniac. I had the magic plastic and who cares. I was a consumer and I was doing my part. I talked myself into buying things because I thought that these things will make me happier. And they did. I will not be a hypocrite and say otherwise. Who doesn’t need T.V., DVD player ( I just bought a blu-ray recently), stereo, etc etc. these days?

The thing is, I should have just waited. I should have just waited to buy the things that I wanted WHEN I ACTUALLY HAD THE MONEY, not when I had the charge card. I should have known better. I have accumulated things…and DEBT. And I know that I am not the only one who fell in this situation. Not the first one and definitely not the last.

Now, how in the world did I get out of debt? I’ll share the graphic details on the second part. Stay tuned!