This post may contain affiliate links. Please view my disclosure policy for more information.
Credit cards are evil. That’s what everyone says, right? I’ve even said it myself. I would hear about “those people” with thousands of dollars of credit card debt and immediately jump to the conclusion that they must not be good at managing their money. Or, they were shopaholics, living far beyond their means. Well, life has a funny way of showing you when you’ve been a judgmental dingbat.
That’ll Teach Me to Judge Someone Else’s Financial Situation
Last winter, I was in a bad place financially. Brandon, my other half, had major surgery with several complications. While he was in the hospital, our only vehicle completely and utterly died on us. After the hospital stay, he required home nursing and several doctor’s appointments with costly co-pays. At that time, I was unable to find a steady job. I had costly prescriptions of my own to pay for. Not to mention, bills still needed to be paid.
What About Savings?
Everyone should have an emergency fund, right? It’s great if you have one but know that it is possible to quickly go through the fund when an emergency strikes. It got to the point where we wiped through all our savings, even after cutting every possible expense. It was then that I decided to start using my credit cards. This is the part of the story where I should tell you what a horrible idea that was and how much I regret it. But, I can’t do that because I don’t regret it.Having access to the cards allowed me to get the prescriptions I needed, helped to put food on the table, paid for co-pays and kept the lights on. For a few months, we were pretty much living off of credit cards until I was able to find a job.
Why I Don’t Regret the Credit Card Debt
I don’t regret having the credit card debt. I can’t, knowing what how much it helped us. That being said, I want it gone. We are now in a better position and have been aggressively paying down the debt. My goal is to have it paid off by the end of the year. When I added up the total amount, I was shocked. Not at how much it was. No, I was shocked that I didn’t regret it. I see the debt as something that truly helped my family when we needed it the most. And for that, I’m thankful. (and for the fact that I didn’t have interest until the last few months!)
Why Am I Sharing This?
I’m not sharing this to encourage you to take on huge amount of credit card debt. I am sharing this to let you know that sometimes, it’s ok to have to use credit cards when there is no other choice. I can blog about emergency funds and savings accounts (and I do encourage that) but the truth is, not everyone is able to live that way. Sometimes, it’s impossible to build an emergency fund when you are barely able to keep food on the table. If that is where you are at right now, know that you aren’t alone. You will pull through this. Do what you need to do for your family and ignore what everyone else (even me!) has to say about saving money.
Have you ever had to use credit cards to survive? Were you able to pay off the debt?