Is Your Credit Karma Good or Evil?

I received my first credit card at age 22 and it’s been downhill ever since. Somehow I thought having a credit card meant I got to pay it back whenever I so desired. Thus began my life long battle with finances. I will always curse the day that hows your credit karma?Macy’s employee handed me my first shiny new card as I purchased a waffle iron for a wedding gift. I was no longer a credit virgin. I hope that couple got a lot of use out of the waffle iron because I ended up paying hundreds for it by the time all the finance and late fees were added.

Trust me on this, credit will come back and bite you if you don’t treat it with respect.

Fast forward to present day and I still have trouble budgeting. With Christmas there was undoubtedly a big hit on the family finances. Not only do we buy for 5 kids, we also choose things for our parents.
Each December we hope that our mortgage company decides to give everyone a month off from paying. I can dream they too, will catch some holiday spirit. Or, I can do something about it.

To our credit (get it, credit?) we cut up all our cards and only pay cash. The humorous part about is it reflects negatively on our credit report. That’s another story.

For now, my husband and I have put together a new plan in order to prepare for things like holidays and all the kid’s birthdays. Unless we put a moratorium on gift buying for our children, we are stuck doing this. Also, we agree that we would probably pay more out of pocket for their therapy as a result of our kids growing up in a gift free home.

Every paycheck I pull out a set amount of cash and tuck it away. It’s my sacred stash. No touchy/feely stuff when I’m craving a mocha, no quick picks in order to tip the pizza delivery driver, no fun money for a matinee. It’s completely off limits.

At least that’s what I tell myself…we will see if this sticks once my mocha craving hits full force.

The idea is when a kid’s birthday or holiday arrives, we take from the fund and use it instead of the checking account. This way, it doesn’t affect our monthly budget.

Hey, it’s worth a try and obviously, given my past history with finances, it can’t hurt to give it a go. Who knows, maybe this will turn me into an actual grown up. You know, one who actually prepares for things and plans ahead. What a concept.

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Jessica is a a wannabe urban homesteader, living in Portland with a blended family of 4 kids, 3 rescue dogs and 4 chickens named after Starbucks drinks. Even though Jessica is a vegetarian, she really misses bacon. In addition to 10 to 20 Parenting, Jessica is a regular contributor to a variety of urban living and parenting magazines. She can also be found spreading 'peace and wisdom' over at her blog, The Dalai Mama, at www.travelingmercies-jessica.blogspot.com

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Jessica Hoefer-Land

Jessica is a a wannabe urban homesteader, living in Portland with a blended family of 4 kids, 3 rescue dogs and 4 chickens named after Starbucks drinks. Even though Jessica is a vegetarian, she really misses bacon. In addition to 10 to 20 Parenting, Jessica is a regular contributor to a variety of urban living and parenting magazines. She can also be found spreading 'peace and wisdom' over at her blog, The Dalai Mama, at www.travelingmercies-jessica.blogspot.com

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