Life Lesson #5:
Pay off your credit cards every month.
::groans:: Why did I have to learn this one the hard way?? Thankfully, Jake and I have been able to not use a credit card in almost 4 years but man, it's been hard. And on top of that, we're taking those 4-years to get our finances in order and begin to really pay them off. We were young and dumb about our credit/finances and most of our credit card charges weren't even big ticket items (think couch, furniture, shopping sprees). No, they were bills or grocery trips or "emergencies". Never again. Never. Never. Never. Jake and I are paying for our wedding in cash (which is pretty much unheard of!) and we are trying to work down our credit card debt so we have nothing and then can start using them responsibly. Then all we will have is student loans. And in the next couple years, a home loan. And guess what, we will live by the "if you can't pay for it now, you can wait for it/save up for it/don't get it" mentality. And I bet we will be a lot happier than having things on credit. I cringe every time I think about the debt we are carrying. I wouldn't have done that when I was younger and dumber. At least we are learning from our mistakes!! I go back to Life Lesson #2 -- When in doubt, just take the next right step. And that is what we are doing.
Did you have to learn about credit the hard way and how to manage it responsibly? Or did money/credit-smarts get passed down to you?