I have learned the value of money the hard way. I needed to experience being in debt terribly to know that the things I want will not (never) satisfy me. I wanted others to envy me by having expensive and new things, but in the end, I was the one who suffered the consequences (read my shopaholic story here). Growing up in a poor family made me dream of buying the things I want, and I planned to get it when I finally landed a job. The word saving is not in my dictionary and did not come to my mind.
My mom is a frugal woman but I know she also didn’t have any savings at all because her income doesn’t stay long on her hand. We were taught to earn money but was never taught to save one. Typical Pinoy, that is what I think we are.
After my College graduation, I was lucky to have a job at once. I was earning a lot because of frequent overtime. There were times that I didn’t noticed the day of payday since my money at the ATM is still enough to cover my expenses. The problem arose when a co-worker introduce me to the world of Credit Cards. At that time, I looked up to people who have it, ang sosyal lang kasi ng dating…. parang ang yaman! Yes, credit cards offer a lot of good promises and freebies so I didn’t think twice to have one. From 1 credit card it quickly became 7, they kept on coming without me applying for them. And regrettably, I have used them all.
It was the year 2008 when I finally decided to quit my daily job and be a stay at home mom. That is when I came to realize that I have thousands and thousands of Credit Card balances due to irresponsible usage. That gave me terrible headaches, stress and depression. I don’t know how I could pay for it since I have no more monthly paycheck.
But God is good and I have survived that crisis. Maybe that is because I have faced the problem. I have enrolled my balances through the bank’s amnesty program and little by little I have closed 4 credit cards already. I hope to finish the 2 cards before the year ends and the last one by next year hopefully.
Also, for almost 2 years now, I am already paying in cash in every purchases that I have made. No more credit card usage for me.
To those who are now experiencing high credit card debt, my advice to you is to close it now, enroll to an amnesty program and try your best to pay for it. The earlier you get rid of them the better. Just use cash on your purchases and learn to save more.
Let us all be financially literate and debt free Pinoy!
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