Death by Credit

American Ease

Credit cards can provide a gateway to happiness, or so it would seem. With rent stacking up before our paychecks come through and awesome deals at every window, the power to purchase instantly is in high demand. After all, when we need things right away, what could be better? We live in a culture where we need it and we need it yesterday. Not only is sliding a card much easier than handing over a wad of cash, it requires much less thought. But as with anything, there must be some sort of catch, right?

Snapback

As easy as it is to charge enough groceries to last the month or a down payment on a new laptop, in the end you still end up with that nasty little thing called a bill. As the bill starts to add up and the paychecks aren’t getting any larger, credit cards can quickly become the enemy. That little piece of plastic that was once the gateway to American freedom has suddenly become a slavedriver and you find yourself behind the iron bars of debt.

Now what?

12Looking at it this way, it would seem that there’s no other way but to chop up all your credit cards and move to cash only. However, there must be some way to still enjoy the plastic gateway. As unattractive as it may sound at first, a budget can be that balance. Say you need to put out a hundred dollars before your paycheck comes in because of an emergency. Instead of pushing yourself back into the hands of collectors in a couple months, take that money out of next month’s budget and only spend as much as you can pay back. A simple budget can turn the deadly sting of credit card debt into that extra push you needed to get through the end of the month.

The Balance

So there you have it. Credit cards can be a wonderful and thrilling thing, as long as you use them responsibility. You wouldn’t start out on a road trip in the middle of a desert without a full tank of gas, would you? Then don’t spend more than you can pay back! It’s a simple principle that can allow you to enjoy the joys of credit cards, and you can avoid the annoyance of collectors as well as the weight of debt. As long as you keep an eye on your financial gas tank, making your way through the desert should become as easy as cruising down the highway.