Shopping: Credit and Debit

I am the last person to tell others how they should or should not comport themselves but in today’s society with the numerous magazines on the racks covering the world of women’s fashion, bloggers who seemed to claim their fame as celebrity stylists, the lookbook and stylebible – vanity sure reached its limitless height. It is easy for a woman to get overly-wrapped up in concerns about her clothing, accessories, shoes and even bags. There’s this certain hierarchy when you’re carrying a Birkin, Chanel or Longchamp. What does it say to every woman out there?

Shopping Spree with Plastics!

Our society seems to be dedicated to the acquisition of stuff, sooner or later you wouldn’t even notice the influence it has injected to your quality of life.  Every woman as she age would find the need to have at least that one thing she can pass on to her daughter, granddaughters and so on. Purchasing in bazaars are still staple but acquiring would undergo thoughts on longevity of quality and not just frugality. Somehow, women would reach that age wherein she’d think of presentation, class and sets of valuable things which appreciates together with time.

My mom used to tell me to learn to stick to the basics, and not to shop too much because of its “cuteness”, there were numerous times when she’d lecture me about quality over frugality and frugality with quality. It’s only until I legalized my business when I realized all the financial education I was taught, the logic on the importance of dressing well gracefully everyday and my own “Confessions of a Shopaholic” bad.

The transition from buying too much rubber shoes, sporting apparel and gears to heels, dresses and accessories has gone back to my system. The “girly” lifestyle away from being too carefree; the need to be well-presented has surely reflected on my credit card bills.

From the gal who aimed to have her own credit card solely to acquire online cheap fares, to using the plastic to gauge points for mileage – last month as I paid off my credit card debt, I found myself realizing the numerous ways in which this piece of plastic has took over my life (Thank God not 360 degrees!)

Emotionally and Financially.

  • My choice of restaurant or destination should always have the mastercard and visa logo. If they don’t accept credit cards, there’s no way I’m going to head there. I have reached the addiction on earning points for mileage hence you’d barely see my wallet filled with cash (it also saves the commuter in me from pickpocketers)
  • Left alone in the mall with no computer or wifi, you’d probably see me walking around window shopping than hanging at my usual bookstore nook. Leave me on a much longer time, I’d be pampering myself at the parlor for some TLC (and then I’d always rant why my hair is taking forever to grow long)

I’m sure you’ve experienced this before; you’ve had a crappy day or your colleague was a pain in the ass – you turn your frown upside down and head to the nearest department store. Shop therapy comes in. You try on all the clothes, shoes and accessories, you think of the nearby occasion you’d find yourself wearing it – you call on the sales lady and hand your credit card – SWIPE it! Now, as you walk towards one every each store, you get home and realize how incredible all these new things you’ve got BUT come next day or Monday, you’d see the same person who pissed you off, deal with the person over and over again and then you realize, you’re not going to get paid not until the next 2-3 weeks.

in my case, having project based income – I swipe the card to something I’ve been eyeing on for a long time. I try it on, see if it fits, when it feels right – I hand out the dress and give the card right away before I change my mind. I knew it was an investment since I don’t wear such sunday dresses as often as I used to in a couple of years but once over-spending comes in, I realize clothes won’t feed you but it surely makes you feel good.  Spending surely can give you tremendous high but shop therapy won’t last, its facing the truth which will.

Here’s the trick I live by:

  • Swipe the card but as soon as you get home, log-in to online banking and pay what you just spent right away. It saves you the additional fees on your credit card for paying right away plus it also gives you a good credit line. Your bank would consider your requests for being diligent.  Believe it or not but my bank reversed all the additional financial charges including interest.
  • Daily monitoring
  • Pay in full – always or more than the minimum amount you’re being asked to pay for.

Will post more on how you can maximize using your plastic and yet still being in-control. Meanwhile, go ahead and finish off your debt before you swipe that card again or go and pay for whatever you swiped that plastic for – you’ll be thankful that you did.

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