Thursday, May 31, 2007

Life Takes Debt

When I'm in a funk, my mind tends to get very interested in things like conspiracy theories, paranoia, etc. It's like I'm a pothead, but I don't smoke pot.

So I'm examining things from all angles, and one thing always gets my blood up are these credit card cheerleaders. They just get so excited about the wonders of credit cards. These people probably Tivo an entire evening of television, then fast forward through the shows hoping there's a Visa commercial or ten. Maybe like the one where the woman in a drab work suit with the glasses breaks the heel off her shoe, and the magical singing black lady gives her a credit card and suddenly she's glasses-less and wearing a hot red dress and viola! she's now someone "dudes" would "bang?" It's plastic porn. It's consumerist masturbation. It's also utter shite and a glaring, loud demonstration of what's wrong with our society.

My crazy, mixed-metaphor mind ramblings came up with this scattered thought. Here is how the match up works between the credit card company and the debtor:

Credit Card Company

Focuses on: You. And you alone. Sure, they may have millions of other customers, but if you think you can escape their omniscient gaze, try being a half a day late on your payment. Religious people wish their god was this involved in their day-to-day affairs.


Focuses on: What to put on in the morning. The drab gray dress suit with the glasses? Of course! What is this, a Visa commercial? Make breakfast. Rush hour traffic, then eight hours of work. Co-workers, perhaps a boss you don't like, wondering if your career is stalled out, is the dry cleaning done? Should I eat out or eat this crappy sandwich? Solitaire. Online poker. Emails to send and answer. Traffic. Mail. Bills? Credit card bills? Throw 'em in the pile on the desk. If there are kids, help with homework. Feed the dog/cat/bird/ferret/boa constrictor (goat). More email? Balance the checkbook. Television? Time with loved one. They probably want a back rub. Yep. They're trading it for sex. Damn it.

The theory is, you're too damn busy to properly address your debt. You cannot compete with the attention your credit card company is giving you. And by being a Forgetful Frankie or Fannie, you are more likely to fail. It is in the best interest of the credit cards that you are so swamped with life that you can't make an effective anti-debt soldier. Your debt becomes just another aspect of your already too-busy life. Life takes Visa, and Visa helps make life more complicated. It's a cycle.

What do you go through in a typical day? Where is your focus at? What I'm getting at is that credit card companies have nothing to do but to monitor your account 24/7. And not just your account with them, but ALL your accounts (some companies bump up your APR if you're late on something like a mortgage payment or gas bill). So tell me, what is the level of your focus? This debt repayment thing is like a staring contest. Every month you make your payment, the contest goes on a little bit longer. But if you blink (make a mistake), just for the briefest of moments, your opponent doesn't just gloat a little bit and want to continue the game.

No, the second you blink your opponent pulls out a gun and shoots you between the eyes.

That's why it's a good idea to set up an automatic payment system if your bank offers it. With Bank of America, all my bills are pre-scheduled and paid on time, and even if I make a payment day-of, it pays it first thing and I am not charged any late fees. It took me quite a while to make the check to electronic switch, but in terms of sharpening my focus, my "stare" if you will, it has certainly been worth it and I wish I'd done it sooner.


noma said...

Love the shot between the eyes image. This is how I feel, almost on a weekly basis...

Rachel said...

posts like this on are the reason I love this blog!