It’s not that I’m selfish, but Days 13 and 14 of the 21-Day Financial Fast were easy.
Chapter 13 in Michelle Singletary’s book that accompanies the fast explained the curse of credit. That curse taught me a harsh lesson more than a decade ago. That curse kicked my butt.
Suffice it to say, after my foray into unlimited twentysomething spending, I soon learned to treat credit cards like alcohol, and I didn’t want to become an alcoholic.
I cut up all my credit cards but one, (My company gave me a second for business expenses.), and I began paying off my bills. That was a huge step for someone who got her first credit card when she was 19.
Chapter 14 was one I didn’t even have to read. It was called co-signing is crazy. As I said, it’s not that I’m selfish, but I wouldn’t co-sign something for anyone, not even my mother.
What I would do is find a way to get what she needed, whether it was a car or a house without attaching my name to someone else’s credit.
It is a standard I’ve always had, but one that became a life mantra that speaks to a larger issue: Do not give your reputation to someone else to use and lose! If they mess it up, you can’t get it back – not for a long time.
So these days, these chapters, were easy: Do not get a bunch of credit cards. They are not money, and you’re still broke. And don’t let someone else’s poor credit keep you from using your own.
ROCHELLE RILEY is a writer and blogger whose posts here are about her personal adventures. You can read her columns at www.freep.com/rochelleriley, and she hopes you will support her Kickstarter campaign to record an acoustic gospel album here!