Every time I plunk down a credit card to pay for something I am borrowing money.
I have managed to avoid this fact because for many years—from the mid 90s as a young adult to right up to the economic crash of 2008—I had the funds to pay off all the cards immediately. I was what is known as a transactor. I used the card as a convenience, never as a way to avoid settling up at the end of the month.
But it is so so easy to slip from being a transactor into being a revolver, someone who doesn’t pay off the entire amount at the end of the month and lets the debt sit there to be paid off at some point in the future, a point that quickly recedes, accumulating interest, leading straight into the hell of debt.
I got my hair done today. When it was time to pay up I did something that is so radical for me: I pulled out my debit card. The funds came out of what I have right now, at this moment, in the bank. I didn’t borrow money to get a fabulous new do. I paid for it with what I already have.
I know this sounds so obvious, but it is quite a revelation and change of habits for me.