10 October 2008

Money

I have six sources of credit available to me. Two lines of credit, two store credit cards, a Visa, and a Mastercard. At the moment, some are close to their limits and some are completely empty. I've never really given them much thought until this week. They just sit in my wallet as available if necessary.

Without me really paying attention, my two store cards have become Mastercards. I received the new cards in the mail with the usual 'please activate' letter. So I did, thinking they were just the replacement cards and my others had expired. Then I noticed the finer print that told me that they are no longer just accepted at the store, what my limit was and the new interest rate. I called the customer service line saying that I didn't request these cards and asked where they came from. They are indeed to replace the cards I have, except they are now MC put out by the store and accepted anywhere MC is displayed. In both cases, my interest rate went down by more than a third and my limits went up by more than 200%. I now have more credit available to me than I make in a year. That's a bit scary. I don't need that much credit, I'm not a huge shopper. Well, sometimes, but I keep those impulses to what's available in the bank account instead of credit.

I do wonder if this is a reaction to what's happening in the US. One way to prevent or lessen a depression is to keep spending money. The economy depends on people buying stuff to keep it going. So with higher limits and lower interest I suspect my creditors are hoping I'll suddenly feel the need to go shopping. Lucky for me, I don't. Not lucky for them. If there's anything I've learned in twenty years of carrying debt, it's not to spend so much that I can't afford the payments. Tough to do sometimes because on an Up I could tear through a large amount of money in a very short time. But I have learned my lesson from trial and error and I don't ever want to be suffocated by debt again or afraid of what's in my mailbox.

Thinking of money, my older son T decided for sure he's not going to go to France. It would have been an awesome experience, but he didn't feel ready for it. Instead he bought himself a new computer with the saved money. I don't know much about computers, but it has all the required innards and a very nice black case :)

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