Credit Card Debt? Bah Humbug

Yearning to See the Light

I read an article, a very interesting article about reducing your card debt.

The article said you should forget about it (pay the bare minimum on it), and focus your energies on earning more income.

Forget your credit card debt…?

Now, I am appalled and alarmed by that suggestion on a lot of levels.

Because that simplistic approach cannot possibly apply to (1) people who cannot handle their money, (2) people do not know how to grow their money, and (3) or who cannot (for the life of them) stop buying.

And they exist – an obscene number, in fact!

Besides, according to Carmen Wong Ulrich’s The Real Cost of Living: Making the Best Choices for You, Your Life, and Your Money, having a credit card debt has an emotional cost.

A huge emotional cost.

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A 90-Day Credit Card Moratorium

Illumination

At our post-Christmas party, my partners at MoneyDoctors started talking about a credit card moratorium for their families – this meant they will not use their credit cards for 90 days.

With the Christmas indulgence, I also engaged in some wanton (haha!) and indiscriminate spending and have not been able to pay my credit cards in full.  I still do pay way above the minimum but at the rate I am going, and with my steady monthly purchases (not to mention the interest payments, grrrr!), I do not know when I will be free (or if I will be free).

I knew then had to do something that drastic too – and fast!

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Credit Card Musings (er, Woes)

Magnify

If there is anything that I have learned during all my years of existence, it is that you do not get answers if you do not ask any questions.

So I ask my questions, no matter how silly or how dumb it sounds.  Doubt is also an element that I constantly entertain in my mind, so I confirm and re-confirm until the thing has no choice but to sound true.

So on the day that I got my credit card statement and alarm bells were sounding in my head, I picked up the phone and called Citibank direct.

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Citibank Free Movie Tickets: A Lesson In Reading the Fine Print

Where Is Your Road Taking You?

Where Is Your Road Taking You?

Citibank Ad: For a minimum single receipt purchase of Php1500, you can get a free movie ticket of your choice in some designated cinemas.

Aside from being very inaccurate, free is too strong a word.  Okay, okay, the movie tickets have a potential to be free if you can find  Php130 movies at your favorite movie haunt.  But since the advent of THX and reserved seating and glamorized movie houses (great audio! superb video!), this is no longer the case.  Movies typically range from Php170 to as high as Php400 nowadays.

So, Citibank, the right, er, more accurate, word is subsidize.

Let’s begin at the beginning.  When I saw this ad one fine day, which took up more than half the size of a newspaper, and no fine print, my savings!savings! antennae went up and I began, consciously, to put more heart (and thought) into my purchases.  I had a target, and that is to use my Citibank card for purchases Php1,500 and above.   There were times when I would try to sweet talk the salesladies into cutting up my purchases (I remembered seeing in the ad, “a minimum of Php1,500 single receipt”, so I thought there had to be something there) so I would get different transaction receipts for every Php1,500.  But, as I experienced at Charles and Keith Trinoma, I was not always successful.

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