How many of us could pay cash for a $1,000 car repair, and how many would have to use a credit card?
When our clients are going through the Baseline Financial Solutions' financial coaching program, the very first goal we set and help them achieve is establishing a $1000 starter emergency fund. $1000 in a savings account earmarked just for emergencies.... refreshing thought, isn't it? Now, is $1000 enough for the long term? No, but it's a great starting point and puts a small buffer between yourself and life's unexpected events.
So, why is this $1000 starter emergency fund so important? It's the first step in breaking the cycle of using credit cards. "I'm getting this credit card, but it's only in case I have an emergency". Sound familiar? This way of thinking is the result of countless dollars of advertising that's been pushed by credit card companies for the last 50+ years (Capital One spent $831 million on advertising in just the 4th quarter of 2018). Would the slogan "Use our card for your steak dinner so you can pay us 18% interest" make you feel a NEED for a credit card? Probably not. Instead, their advertising is phrased like this: "Our product will protect you just in case you have an emergency....". They do this because #1- It pulls on a powerful emotion (fear) in an extremely effective way, and #2 - They know all they need to do is get that card in your hands. Once they have accomplished that, it WILL be used to pay for vacations, furniture, clothing, and steak dinners - all at 18% interest. They know this, and have millions of dollars of research to back it up. Pretty clever.
The first credit card (Diners' Club card) was established in 1950. In a span of less than 70 years, we as a society have been trained to think we cannot live without a credit card because we need one for "Emergencies". Ever hear the phrase "Life takes Visa"? Well, many people lived prior to 1950 and none of them had a credit card - how did those people survive? They had MONEY saved, not a false sense of security and reliance on a terrible financial product - that's how.
Get angry. Take a stand and say No More! Credit card debt DOES NOT need to be a part of your life, and we can show you the way out. Schedule a free meeting to learn more about the Baseline Financial Solutions' financial coaching program. Send us a message, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (605) 252-5972 to get started. There's nothing to loose (except credit card debt) and everything to gain.