Monday, January 12, 2009

Bye Bye Debt

Self reliance is something I don't often talk about overtly on this blog. It is, nonetheless, one of the underlying motivations for just about everything I write about here.

What better to foil a perfectly good plan for self-reliance than...debt? Debt keeps you reliant on working a 9 to 5 job, and it keeps you dependent on big, evil companies. As we all know, creditors prey on the vulnerable, encouraging people to live beyond their means, and then they spend their entire lives trying to pay for it.

I have never been a fan of credit cards, and have always bought things with only the money I have on hand. That changed when my lovely cat Lionshead decided to have a near-death experience. I had Lionshead spayed at a clinic in Philadelphia that, in hind sight, maybe wasn't the most reputable. All was well for four months, until shortly after we moved to Santa Fe. One morning I found Lionshead popping a squat all over the house, trying to excrete something that didn't seem to want to come out. Turns out that's because it was her intestines. Long story short, my kitty needed emergency abdominal surgery, and it was going to cost a lot of money. When I asked the vet about payment plans, they told me I could apply for a credit card that is for medical expenses like this. So I did. Over the course of this year, my accident-prone cat has racked up several thousand dollars in debt, and I have been steadily paying it off. The card, CareCredit, offered me enticing promotional deals: no interest for a year, 6 months, or 3 months, depending. After that promotional period was up, however, watch out. Hundreds of dollars in deferred fees and interest await the tardy debtor. I was determined not to fall prey to this scheme. I paid as much as I could each month, religiously.

Well, I am pleased to say that as of today, I am debt-free again, and so is my cat.

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