I can't believe I haven't posted here in so long! How very unlike me.
Today I did something that I haven't done in a long time. Not seriously, anyway. I applied for a credit card.
"But wait!" you say. "Becky, you can't handle money! And you're doing all that saving stuff! You don't need a credit card! Did filing bankruptcy teach you nothing?"
Actually, filing bankruptcy taught me a lot. I was legally bankrupt four and a half years ago, after building up thousands of dollars in credit card debt. My car was repossessed (it's why I don't have one now). I couldn't make my student loan payments, and I was getting phone calls from collections people while I was at work. It was not a good situation. It got so bad that bankruptcy was my only option. I learned the hard way that all those little things add up. My once pristine credit rating was shot.
Since then, I've worked hard to live within my means. I had to borrow a little from my dad at first to get back on my feet, but thanks to a steady job, I was able to pay him back everything I borrowed (which was quite a lot, in the end, and I still feel terrible that I had to stoop so low - not that it was a bad thing, necessarily, but I just felt guilty, and I felt like a failure). My savings account started to see money again - and finally started accruing interest again. I got to the point where I could afford a good place to live and other previously optional amenities - like cable TV and high speed internet. I still don't have a car, but since I don't really need one I have a hard time justifying the expense. See? I learned something.
So what does this mean about me and credit cards? I learned from my mistakes. That much I know. But I also will be traveling a lot in the next year. Traveling without a credit card can be dangerous. What if something happens when I'm in Kansas City and I need an emergency flight home? I don't have the funds in my checking account to account for something like that. You never know what's going to happen. The credit card I applied for will be for emergencies only. ONLY. I might charge the occasional something here and there, but only small amounts to help rebuild my credit rating. I will pay it off every month.
My dad's rule is: if there's a month where you can't pay the full balance on your card, then you don't use it again until it's paid off. I can live by that rule. If all I charge is $20 a month, then it'll be no problem at all. That way, if an emergency happens, it won't break the bank trying to fix it. I'll be ok.
In other news, I made a fun quiz on Sporcle over the weekend. You should try it if you haven't yet! Famous Quotes, Bad Translations!