PITCHING PLASTIC, Part. 2: After the “Toss”


Credit Card Debt
Credit Card Debt (Photo credit: 401K)

04-26-2012

After two years of living  hand-to-mouth while paying creditors by dibs and dabs, I am seeing that white-hot  ray of  hope at the end of the tunnel. Thanks to my teachers’ credit union, I am finally free of credit-card debt.

Detoxing myself from “plastic” was hard at first. Like someone with delirium tremens, or d.t.’s, my hands shook every time I reached into my wallet now bare of the rainbow of credit cards.  Once I  decided to “pitch the plastic”, stores everywhere conspired to tempt me. Everywhere I went, items jumped out and yelled, “Buy me!”

Yes, tightening my belt has been a struggle.  Being single, I have celebrated the luxury of not having to rush home and cook dinner so I became accustomed to dropping in for  a bite on the way home from school or errands. Telling self that I needed to walk off my dinner, afterwards, I’d venture around the corner to my favorite boutique.

“Just looking,” I’d claim, as I looked through their racks.  Yeah, they knew better. An hour later, a cheerful sales person would chirp, “Thank you, Ms.Terry,” as she swaddled my selections in tissue paper.

Hey, at least this won’t drain my bank account, I reminded self, as I swung the fancy designer shopping bag in my hands. I thought I had it all figured out. But when credit-card payments  swarmed around me  like African Killer bees, I  knew it was time to take action.

 Having seen seen commercials for a well-known debt management company, I decided to research them online. Liking what I saw, I plugged in my digits. Within minutes, they spat out a figure I’d be paying each month. So far, so good.

Proud of my initiative, I announced to my fiance what I was about to do.

“Hey, babe,” Von said,  “I’m so proud of you for taking matters in hand. While you have this back-up plan in place, though, why not find out how your credit union can help you?”

So I did. Originally, my idea was to take out a second mortgage until an officer at Educational Employees Credit Union (EECU) recommended that I establish a home-equity line of credit that I could borrow against. I supplied them with what they needed — pay stubs from my job, information about my home, and my list of debts and creditor addresses and –voila! — three weeks later, I was signing the dotted line on a sheaf of papers thick as a small-town phone directory.

 Two days ago, I made my first payment,a month early!

Since then, I’m  shopping smart and, in the process, falling in love with cooking for myself, again! Aldi‘s rocks! With  quality groceries at a fraction of the price of normal stores, I can find dark chocolate, 70% cocoa, that rivals Godiva and Ghirardelli in its decadence. Shoot,  I even found a four-pack of filet-of-sirloin steaks! Starving, I’m not!

Along with better stewardship have come new opportunities: substituting for my colleagues, teaching an extra class, receiving checks for “credits”.

How can I sum it up? One word: cha-ching!

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4 thoughts on “PITCHING PLASTIC, Part. 2: After the “Toss”

  1. Bravo. It takes courage and will power to really change habits and get out of problems like credit bondage. Seems like you have not lost quality of life in the process.

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