Before anything else, I would just like to say that sometimes adulting is hard. Oftentimes, I wonder how nice it would be if we could only depend on our parents regarding our finances and responsibilities forever. Life isn’t like that, however. We grow and mature into adults with our own decisions and responsibilities in which money plays an important role.
This is a story about my recent credit card freedom. One day, I woke up with an email on my mobile phone showing my e-credit card account statement from BPI. The first thing I thought was, “Oh gosh, here we go again”. Every month that I open my statement from them, I get this weird feeling. Like it’s a burden because it truly is. All debts should be a burden.
Let me tell you how I got this e-credit card first though. I don’t think I have shared it yet on my blog. In the first few months after my return to the Philippines from Thailand, I got a call from BPI telling me about the availability of this e-card. The woman promised it would be an easy process, that all I had to do was fill out a form, send it back to her together with my valid IDs. It came as a surprise for me as I remember when I was still working in the Philippines years ago, I inquired about credit cards from different banks in the Philippines. At that time, it was almost impossible for me to get one so I gave up.
It was almost shocking that they are offering me this card now, six years later. My guess is because of my active savings account. Before returning home, I was able to save money and put it in my BPI savings account. I didn’t want to go back empty-handed as I’m fully aware nobody will support me but myself. It would also be embarrassing to ask my parents for money because I know they are dealing with their financial struggles. In Asian culture, I probably could have borrowed money from family and relatives and it would be okay. Personally, however, I didn’t want to go that path for many reasons. And so, I tried to save money as much as possible before resigning from my job in Thailand.
With that money on my account, my theory is that the bank then saw me as someone who is capable of paying its debts. A few days after that call, they phoned me again. With good sales talk skills from the agent, I was swayed and agreed. There are pros and cons to owning a credit card. At that time, I thought of more advantages than disadvantages to having one. Therefore, I said yes.
Today, almost one year later, I can say that this card has been a great use to me. It served me well, especially on my online bookings and transactions. And so, I have no regrets. What was challenging though is making payments every month. I always get a headache thinking about my bills and what needs to be paid every month. Do you also get that headache? =)
Going back to that email, I opened it up and saw my outstanding balance. It shows like this, -0.98 PHP.
Yes, I paid all my debts, finally! And it felt amazing, that weight and pressure I was feeling are now gone. For the past year, I have paid the minimum payment stated in my statement which was around 800-900 PHP. Sometimes, I paid more. From 20,000+ PHP, it went down to 0.
There’s a relief knowing that I won’t be thinking about it anymore unless I make a new debt which I hope not. For now, I have no desire of making new financial problems for myself. I plan on lying low for a while in terms of my credit card. Besides, with the pandemic going on, the economy isn’t doing well worldwide.
Finally, having credit cards has advantages especially during emergencies. I can’t tell you, however, that it’s a good thing or a bad thing. It all boils down to how you use it. In my adult life, I have much preferred to be debt-free because it gives me peace of mind knowing that I don’t owe anybody anything. And I want to keep it that way.
Let’s stay debt-free!