Well, mine sucks.
My husband Marc recently brought me along to a meeting with our accountant who handles the accounting of both our business and personal finances. As it turns out, our business books are ok — although our accountant suggested we should price our services a bit higher. But the personal? Ha. Bottom line, we “seemed” to spend a lot.
The sad thing about it is that we technically don’t. And when I say “technically,” I mean that me and Marc usually just spend on basic needs and utilities with the occasional movie date or two. I don’t spend on clothes (as I’m rarely out of the home office anyway), and Marc, being a typical guy, doesn’t as well. We don’t buy gadgets that we don’t need for work. So why the awful finances?
Two words: CREDIT CARD.
I’m really, really starting to hate those words. Seriously.
Our credit card woes actually started about a year or two ago, when we had the compulsion to travel a lot — like every month kind of “a lot.” We only had two credit cards then, one Visa (Marc’s) and one Mastercard (mine), but the constant traveling encouraged us to get another one that earns miles instead of points. We used my card primarily for work transactions, as it had an “online version” which allowed me to transact online with worrying about some schmuck using up my entire credit line. Marc’s card we used for monthly personal expenses such as health insurance and pension plans. These two cards had long been factored in our expected monthly expenses, and we lived with them for years without any problems. But the new card, the one that earns miles, did not.
So we traveled and spent. Traveled and spent. We only snapped out of it when we realized that we weren’t prioritizing what needed to be prioritized, like work-related upgrades perhaps. It’s true that when you travel, you gain more on experience than anything else. But the problem was, the experiences weren’t able to pay the bills, nor did it upgrade work equipment. We limited our travels to overnight stays and simple road trips, and started paying off the credit card.
Then the unfortunate happened. Marc’s grandmother passed away. She was the one paying for Marc’s younger brother’s education, and we had no one to turn to at that moment but the credit card’s cash advance feature. Luckily, Marc’s mom soon settled down in her new town in New Zealand and was eventually able to provide for his brother’s tuition.
But the thing is, we were so used to not having to pay credit card finance charges. When a call from the credit card company offering another cash advance to pay off our debt in installment for a year, we jumped on it. After a month or two we realized what a stupid decision that was. We were stuck paying more because of the interest. Gah! We vowed never to do that again.
By now, we’re almost in the clear. But the damage is done. We learned it the hard way… Instead of enjoying the fruits of our business, the fruits are paying off credit card bills. It sucked to know that we could have saved a lot, and sucked even more when we saw the numbers organized by our accountant.
Oh well. At least we’re slowly getting out of it. Almost there! Probably just a few more months, and we’re free from this credit card nuisance.
I can’t wait.