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The Plastic Pleasures of Life: Coping With Terrible Spending Habits

Photos Courtesy of Sean MacEntee

Welcome to SA (Shopaholics Anonymous), dear friends! 

Hi, my name is Myra, and I am a shopaholic. At Shopaholics Anonymous, we understand the struggles of credit card debt, and to spread the awareness, here are some of my experiences to help steer you away from the life of plastic.

Zero percent interest for 18 months: This is a tempting proposal, more so than a proposal from the Bachelor. 

Although it is irresistible, fight the temptation. 

When there is an all you can eat buffet, do you go and eat everything in sight and then some? Of course not because you know that it would take forever to run off all of those calories. 

This same concept applies towards the zero-percent interest offer. It’s easy to swipe a piece of plastic and walk away with everything you want. For a while it even feels like you haven’t had to pay for it. However, you will quickly learn this is not the case when the dreadful time of the month. The credit card companies will come knocking at your mailbox. 

Word to the wise: start paying off the bills immediately. Although it is zero-percent interest for now, those 18 months will fly by quickly. I (and Kanye) have learned this the hard way with our credit card debt.

In my experience, I’ve always wanted the entire rainbow of credit cards, which are American Express, Visa, Capital One and Master Card to name a few. You name it, and I’ve probably got two. It’s easy to apply for credit cards, and it’s even easier to swipe them.

Sometimes my friend, Amanda, would tell me she was surprised my card hasn’t gotten denied yet, and sometimes I think she’s right. It’s a slippery slope with credit cards, so always watch your step.

When debt starts coming, stash the plastic. If you can’t remember where you put your wallet then you won’t be tempted to buy anything. Let’s be honest, credit cards are your only form of payment by now anyways. I don’t even bring my wallet with me anywhere anymore because paying off credit card debt is hell. 

If you don’t have a job, don’t apply for a credit card. 

It’s as simple as that. I’m currently slaving my life away as a waitress and an employee of our wonderful library trying to pay off debt. It’s hard to recover from debt because $100 here and $50 there may not seem like a lot, but those quickly add up to be $1,000’s. 

My debt is only in the thousands, so I still have time to regain control. However, Kanye is another story. It’s time to make a GoFundMe when you get to that level.

Finally, it’s important to note that the little pleasures in life won’t come from swiping your Visa for those new Tory Burch boots. Instead they’ll come from going outside and reading in the amphitheater or playing extreme couponing with your best friends. 

The plastic pleasures in life seem to be fantastic for a while until reality hits you and it’s no longer fun and games. Cinderella lost it all come midnight, and you could lose it all come collection day.  Think about that the next time you get an email saying flash sale, and you’re tempted to shop until your credit card drops.

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