I was so focused on preparing for our weekend guests and my daughter’s birthday party, that my six-month blogging anniversary passed last week, without me even noticing! When I started this blog in April, I was buried in credit card debt, and looking for support and guidance. Six months later, I’m still buried in credit card debt, but I’ve learned a tremendous amount. As I look back, here are some of the key things I’ve learned:
- I’m not being as careful about my spending as I thought I was. This is a fairly recent revelation, and it followed my first couple of months of closely tracking our expenditures. It was eye-opening to say the least, and while I’m disappointed that I allowed myself to stay in the dark for as long as I did, I’m glad I’ve got the undeniable numbers staring me in the face now.
- Cash really is king. Prior to starting on this journey, I rarely paid cash for anything. Just one look at my debt totals provides proof of this. While I haven’t completely cut the credit card cord, I now pay cash for many more things than I used. (I’ve never written so many checks in my life!)
- I’ve been fooled, big time. From Target to credit cards, I’ve fallen for lots of the tricks companies employ to get consumers to spend more. Buying things I don’t necessarily need at the moment when there’s a buy-two-get-a-$5-gift-card deal? Check! Rationalizing my credit card charges because I’m earning points? Check! I was well-aware of these techniques, but still fell for them. Here’s an great article about how mindfulness can help overcome this. It was interesting to read that even the researchers fell for some of these credit card traps.
- The PF community is truly wonderful! Not only have I been amazed at just how many PF bloggers there are and how diverse their stories are, but also how welcoming and supportive this community is. I’m in this slog for the long-haul, it’s not always pretty or easy to stay positive. The support, guidance, and even gentle advice, has been much appreciated.
Thanks so much for reading. Here’s to another six months!