Thursday, 12 August 2010

My job the prophet; I can see the future and make money off it

I've already mentioned my terrible procrastination when it comes to most things, and my terrible handling of all things financial. So as you can imagine my credit card bill has been the bane of my life. I used to get quite a lot of "late payment" fees…not because I didn't have the money to pay it, but because every month when the bill came in I never really got around to paying it.

The solution to that was to set up an automatic monthly payment, but you only have two options; pay the full amount each month or pay the minimum amount each month. I didn't want to pay the full amount in case I want to split payments of something over a few months, so I set a payment up for the minimum payment so that at least I wouldn't get any late payment fees. Thing is…when the bill comes in even though I have the minimum covered I still never got around to paying more on top, so only ever paid the minimum and that's the interest for that month plus a few shekels. If you only ever paid the minimum amount then it would take forever to pay off the full bill, but I suppose that's what the credit card company want, they want you to never be free of their debt. It's not so bad for me as it's purely my own fault I'm only paying the minimum, but if you could only afford to pay the minimum you'll be saddled with that outgoing forever as the debt will never be cleared. Such an immoral way of running a business.

The craziest thing about all this is that I do actually have the money to pay my bill in full, I'm just such an awful procrastinator that I never get around to dealing with it. I don't know why, it's just that when it comes to these things everything else suddenly seems a more important use of my time. So I decided that when my bill next came in I was going to pay it off in full. Well…that was last month :) This month I made the same decision and this morning the bill was on my doormat so I went to work as normal, went to the gym as normal, and getting back from the gym all full of vigour I tore that bill open, grabbed my phone and I paid it in full. Finally! In debt to you robbing bastards no more!

Now that they're making nothing a month from me I wonder what their following gambit is going to be. I suspect next month I'll get a letter from them telling me what a marvellous customer I am, how they value me, so they have generously decided to increase my credit limit along with some suggestions about what I could use it for. New car? Dream holiday? Well no luck because I'm on holiday already; from your charges.


Wild Animal said...

Oh yeah...

I had the minimum payment set up on all 10 of my cards but, as you say, that just knocks a couple of pounds off at most, assuming you don't spend any more of course.

But I was spending all my income on my mortgage and minimum payments and still needed to buy non-essentials like food and petrol. Solution? Put day-to-day costs on the cards too. Not really a solution.. it all came grinding to a halt and I'm now on a debt management plan paying £400+ per month for the next 8 years (and that's with the interest frozen!)

Credit card companies are evil. Yes, it's my fault I spent so much but I was suffering and that was the easiest way to ease the pain. I'm not very good at keeping the big picture in mind and this situation kinda crept up on me (still can't really believe it now).

Anyway, at least I'm back on a cash-only basis again. I haven't quite worked out what I'm going to do about my mortgage but one thing is certain. I'll never take out another credit card again. Cash or nothing from now on.

gabriela said...