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Understanding Credit Card Debt and Its Causes

Updated: May 5, 2023

The Millennial Woman With A Big Heart Edition: Learn about credit card spending and how it contributes to credit card debt.


I #grewuppoor & had a #scarcitymindset and so the #YOLO adulthood lifestyle was fueled by the #instantgratification of credit cards.


So, for those of us who learned that credit cards could buy us things today that we don't have, but only need to pay a certain amount for it each month.... Yea. You best bet your sweet ass I jumped on that train as soon as I turned 18.


"I can afford the minimum payments" I'd say to myself.


Sure, a $500 credit limit didn't accrue that much interest.


But, when you keep telling yourself this as your credit limit grows to $30K+... That's when it really becomes an issue.


Here are the different reasons I used credit cards:

  • Loan money to friends and family

  • Pay for my brother's lawyer

  • Car repairs

  • Concerts

  • House repairs

  • Bought a motorcycle

  • Trip to Europe

  • Road trips to NYC, DC, Indiana, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina & the AirBNBs to go along with them

  • Plan tickets to Colorado, California, Texas, etc

  • Buying extravagant gifts

  • Dining out

  • Hosted my 10-year high school reunion

  • Tattoo and piercings

  • Clothes

  • Depression

By the time I was 30, I was making at least $50k/year. But I was living paycheck to paycheck, trying to keep up with high-interest credit card payments and student loan payments.


No kids

Just 2 cats and a dog

No mortgage payment (I was living in a house I was flipping that I paid for with cash)

No car payment


Funny enough, I was at least proud of my 700+ credit score 'cause ya.... that'd get me out of debt and free up monthly $. ::sarcasm::


BUT! Where I came from - Now THAT I think will help you understand the irresponsible credit card usage.


When I say "grew up poor" I don't mean that our family had a house but just couldn't afford vacations or extravagant gifts.


When I say "grew up poor" I mean, we lived in trailers or in a motel. We lived out of our van. We lived in an apartment complex. There was one Christmas when I got 3 little presents - a book, a puzzle and I forget the other. I was 7 years old. We moved around a lot, too. I don't remember where I went to school for the 3rd grade and often went to several schools every year.


I had a teenage mom. Didn't know my dad. The guy I did call Daddy, I often missed him because he either wasn't around or my mom didn't let us around him. Thankful for my Gma coming through a lot and being very supportive.


I could go on, but the point is... credit cards afforded me what I want NOW and wasn't able to have BEFORE. It also enabled my big-heart and guilt. Anyone who needed it knew that they could come to me. It didn't help that I gave everyone the benefit of the doubt... thus in my own way enabling other people's bad lifestyles.


Credit cards were LIFE. Credit cards let me taste the life I didn't have and wanted so badly because "I deserved it."


I used them and learned the hard way, but I haven't been using them anymore. It was a bad habit that was so hard to break.


If you can relate and are really really looking for support with fast tracking yourself out of a sticky credit card situation - I'm here for you. I'd absolutely love to help you break up with Mr. Visa once and for all!

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