Dad has alwaystold me: “Do not spend the money that you don’t have, don’t make the mistake of putting something on a credit card thinking that you will pay it as soon as you get paid, because you will not be ableto do it”. He also has recommended having some money saved for emergencies. When I finally got my first credit card, I had just moved out and started living by myself, had two jobs, and life wastreating me well, I decided it was time for me to get a new cell phone, and to get the laptop I always wanted. I then make those purchases with my credit card, not taking my father’s words into account,and being confident that I was going to be able to pay those things off quickly. Just when everything was good, once again –thanks to Murphy and his law- that thing that could go wrong went: I got laidoff form both jobs, my car broke down and now I had to get a new one, and I found myself having to pay a medical bill I wasn’t supposed to. Because of all of that, debt started to accumulate; I spentall of my savings on the new car, paying for rent and food and covering those extra unnecessary expenses. After four months I finally got a job (where I was making much less money than before), mycredit card was maxed out, and I realized it was going to be a hard thing to get back on track. The first thing I heard form my dad when I told him was the always hated “I told you, but you don’tlisten”; at that moment my eyes were open at how I should have taken his advise and refrained myself form getting into debt.
• 78 percent of American households -- about91.1 million -- had one or more credit cards at the end of 2008. A year earlier, there were 90.4 million households with cards. (Source: Nilson Report, April 2009)
• In the fourth quarter of...