Dog Debt, Scissors and Credit Cards

Italy, thus far, is behind America and perhaps many western nations in personal debt. A fact that makes us happy, for we’d like to see everyone get away from it. Because you see, we learned first-hand the dangers of it. And believe me, we really learned the hard way.

In our early marriage, credit cards in hand, we shopped foolishly and extravagantly. Even buying a dog on credit! If prizes had been given for financial stupidity, we would have gotten first place!

Yes, that’s right. We bought a dog. On credit.

A living being, which could get sick and die, run away, or get hit by a car. Or even, as happened, get stolen, leaving us to pay for something we no longer had. An Old English Sheepdog, Sheba was beautiful. But not worth that price!

That should have served as a wake up call, but it didn’t really. We did start trying to cut back, but to no avail. We had a credit addiction, and found ourselves over our heads in debt.

It soon became obvious that we couldn’t keep up.

And the bank must have thought so too, for they repossessed our car and our home. Letters and phone calls, usually bill collectors wanting nonexistent money, became things to dread.

Life had become a nightmare. Creditors hounding us. Never any extra cash for special celebrations. Nothing whatsoever for a rainy day. Our paychecks never really made it into our hands. They were already gone before we even got them to the bank!

We even had to borrow my parent’s car to get to the hospital for our son’s birth. And that was when we started to realize we had a problem.

So we took the scissors to the credit cards, dog debt included! And made a pact to stop buying on credit.

And then we started seriously working on getting rid of our debts. Which, little by little, we did. Feeling lighter and freer as we paid each one.

We celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary by making the last payment!

We had nothing left for dinner out, or flowers and gifts. But we’d gone from being Financial Stupidity Champions to debt-free living. And that was better than all the gifts or flowers in the world!

Only years later did we learn that the method we used had a name. The Debt-Snowball method. And here we thought of ourselves as the proud genius inventors! But the important thing is that it worked!

So if you have similar difficulties, and getting out of debt seems like Mission Impossible, take heart!

It isn’t easy and takes determination and discipline. But knowing it’s best for us and our families, can help keep us on track. Taking our eyes OFF spending on things we don’t really need. And help us keep them ON the benefits of debt-free living!

  • If we lose our income? No worries over making car payments. Or over paying for credit cards, furniture, or the myriad of things we could buy on credit.
  • With the freed-up income (that once went on paying debts), we have enough to stick aside for rainy days and maintenance on our old used car. Or dinner out on special occasions!
  • And we reach out with a helping hand to others on a regular basis, and with more generosity than ever!

Take courage from our story. If two financial idiots like us could do it, so can you!

The scissors and credit card combination, with self-control, can help make debt-free living Mission Possible for you!

It’s a snowball debt method. Because just like a snowball, you start by paying your smallest debt off first. Going on toward your largest debt. And just as a snowball grows when rolled in the snow,  your debt-free status will continue to grow too!

Getting out of debt isn’t easy, but it’s very much worth it!

[Image of Italian “piggy bank”  ©TheScorziellos-Sheila]


Disclaimer:

This information is provided for informational purposes only, and not intended to replace financial or legal advice! We are in no way responsible or liable for any decisions or actions you take. Don’t hesitate to seek professional counsel or representation.

10 thoughts on “Dog Debt, Scissors and Credit Cards

    1. Thanks so much! Even though it was many years ago, I still remember how wonderful it felt. And that has always remained with us, helping us to see the good sense of staying out of debt!

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  1. I only have one credit card with a $1000 limit. For the past year I’ve been struggling just to pay that off every month and I was sick of it. Now I keep the card at home so when I use it, it is a conscious thing rather than a swipe it and forget it thing. I have enough debt with my student loans. Thankfully my fiance has no student loans and doesn’t even have a credit card. I’m glad we started managing our debt while we are still young!

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    1. I agree. It’s best to tend to debt while young. The younger we are, the easier it seems to form lasting habits. We were only 33 & 34 when we made our last payment. And more and more I see the wisdom of having done that. Now that we are in our mid 50’s, we are starting to realize how few more “earning years” we have left; gotta make them count!

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  2. My husband and I cut up our cards in our first year of marriage, and I haven’t looked back since! It really does free up your conscience when you are buying something with money that you already have; or that you can’t guy something because you don’t have the money!

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    1. That’s great! I just wish we had caught on that quickly…but better late than never. For us, it’s also been a help in seeing God provide. Often by not buying right away (because of not having funds) we have seen God come through with unexpected provision. If we had run out to buy things with a credit card, we would have missed seeing his loving care!

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      1. One of the things that we are learning to do is to just ask God for some of the things that we want, and then to not work on getting it for ourselves. It has been amazing seeing the ways that God has provided for us!

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  3. Congratulations! I’m feeling the same way – if I could get rid of all my debt I think I would breathe so much easier. It will come though – one step at a time!

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