The average America I read carries a typical credit card balance of $17,000. Ouch. You've heard the Capitol One credit card commericals asking "What's in your wallet?" My home phone has been hounded by robotic calls indicating that the anxious lady on the other end has tried numerous times to contact us to see about lowering our credit charge interest rate on monthly balances and this is absolutely the last call and our change to lower interest rates will expire today. I have had many extra days to respond it seems so today I stayed on the line to talk to a credit card consultant. I told her I would like a card that rewards with points for a trip or good old American cash. She indicated they are working on that but nothing exists at this time which I thought odd and that her call was to see about a more attractive interest rate on balances I carry. I indicated I don't carry a balance and most people I know in the Houlton Maine area don't either. They use the card on a trip, pay the balance due each month and do not carry a balance. The lady on the line said really...no credit card balance rolled over month after month and when I said that's right, she hung up. Evidently I was not much good to her if her salary is derived from the fees charged on a big balance that gets rolled over month after month. It struck me as pretty simple. If you live within your means and have a healthy savings program that you are discriplined to feed, you won't need a credit card to get you thru the low, tight spots. You will not be between a rock and a hard place. Why is it that American's carry an average credit card debt of $17,000? If that is average, I shudder to think what it would feel like to owe $30,0000 or $100,000 or more on credit card debt. It would be one thing to have a mortgage on a valuable property with the interest expense deductible and the asset appreciating. But a debt or parasite like a leech draining your resources and causing debt worry from impulse purchases for "stuff" or an over indulgent Christmas of gifts, meals out, holiday spending is foreign to Mainers. A bean supper, a local sporting event and not owing anyone anything other than a home mortgage we are in a hurry to pay off is the norm in Maine. We don't have as much money to manage so we handle it wisely...property is cheaper, car insurance due to lack of crime is cheaper..everything you know divide by three. Had a caller today who wants to retire in Aroostook County and he quoted a phrase he was not sure who created "The simpler the pleasures, the more complex the mind." He does not owe any money. His wife and he want to have a small homestead where they heat with wood, grow their own food and enjoy the great outdoors and low population of Aroostook County..eleven people per square mile. That's his plan for his life and strolling thru malls looking for things he has to have is not on his list of fun things that cause joy or inner peace.
This blog does not allow anonymous comments