More Than A + B

Hey all, thanks for the great comments and visits. My blog had over 100 hits on Thursday. Yay. Anyhow, I wanted to make a quick statement about most of the financial blogs out there. I have noticed that many of the different “personal finance blogs” focus on the “mathematics” of finances. They update the latest interest rates, the latest credit card offers, the latest information about insurance costs, etc. I love checking out these sites…I list many of them in my links section. I read everyone of those sites (and others) every day. In fact, I am a bit obsessive. I know, I know, I am the only one who checks my favorites sites 4 or 5 times a day. None of you have that problem, right?
Now, back to my point. My blog is different. While I will talk about great deals, and maybe even mention a rate or two, my blog is not really a “numbers” based financial blog. For me, personal finances have far less to do with the “math” involved, and much, much more with the ability (or lack thereof) to control or change money habits. In fact, the number one thing that has helped me understand credit and its role in my life has not been chasing the best zero percent transfer or the best rewards system. What has helped me the most is realizing that I was using credit as a crutch. As long as I was free to use my charge card, I did not have to have a budget, I did not have to watch what I was spending. Credit cards create a “fantasy” world where we “have” more money than we really have. We can live a lifestyle that is above and beyond what we can truly afford.
So, for me, getting out of debt, and dealing with my finances is not so much about finding that perfect set of “numbers” to crunch in order to maximize my savings and minimize my finance charges. Getting out of debt is about realizing that I need to live in the NOW. I need to use the money I have NOW. I need to maximize my understanding about money, and plan for my present and my future. And, for me, this is has a lot less to do with ING’s current interest rate, and a lot more to do with whether I have planned my spending for this month and this year. Credit allows us to be sloppy. Unfortunately, many people end up paying exorbitant amounts, years down the line, to clean up their sloppiness.

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