Today’s post is from Suzanne at CareOne Services. You can read more about Suzanne at the end of this post.
I have a confession to make….I work for a leading debt relief provider and I have a credit card. I don’t mean to imply that having a credit card makes me evil, but working as Social Media & Community Manager, well, I hear a lot about the bad side of credit card use. The good news is, I may ‘have’ the card, but I definitely do not use it.
Most of the people in my community are customers, using a debt consolidation plan or are enrolled in debt settlement to help them pay off their debt. These people are learning how to live without credit cards completely, and it’s a big deal and requires them to give up…a lot! It is not easy to make that lifestyle change and I have a great deal of admiration for our customers.
But my choosing not to use my credit card goes a little deeper than just an act of solidarity with the community. Before working here, I had a little bit of a store credit card ‘habit. Since working here, I have paid off those cards and closed them. It was not easy and it took much longer than I thought it would, but I did it!
When you are surrounded by people speaking openly and honestly about their personal debt and the associated challenges of overcoming that debt, it really makes you question your own financial choices. Whether you are using a debt management plan, going through debt settlement, bankruptcy, or just doing it yourself; everyone shares one sentiment, “This sucks and I will never get into a situation like this again.” It is really hard to justify needless purchases when you are faced with the reality of those choices every single day.
Another awesome byproduct of being a part of this community is that the “Keeping up with the Joneses” philosophy has no place here. There is no shame in not having the newest phone, a specific brand of jeans, or even a larger home. There is pride about living within your means, finding a new way to save $10 bucks, or feeding a family of four on less than $50 a week. I like it here.
So that credit card will remain locked in a drawer and not in my wallet (A tip I learned in the community), giving me a chance to avoid temptation. My emergency fund will be tended to better than our garden and I will continue to share my full adoption of everything frugal – with pride!
Suzanne Coblentz is a Social Media and Community Manager for CareOne Services, Inc. a Provider of the CareOne Brand of Debt Relief Services.