Each month, we face the anxiety that comes with awaiting our sworn enemy. No, not that monthly enemy, ladies. I’m talking about your credit card statement. Just typing those three words sends shivers down my spine.
On the morning of the dreaded document’s arrival, you wake up, and everything seems to be going well. You decide to go to the mall to reward yourself for working so hard in school, until suddenly, your phone rings. It’s your mother. You have know idea why she’s calling, but as you hand your dad’s platinum AMEX to the sales associate at Neiman Marcus it dawns on you: Shit. That crazy bitch just saw my credit card statement.
“Hi, Mom! How are you? How’s everything going?” you say, calmly, as if you are blissfully unaware of the verbal lashing you’re about to endure.
“Well, we have a bit of a problem here.”
“Oh? How do you mean?” you cringe.
“Your credit card bill just came in.” Here it comes. “$7,241.08. Are you fucking insane?! Who spends over $7,000 in one month! Your spending is out of control, young lady, and we need to have a serious talk about this. Just because you have money, doesn’t mean you spend it all. This behavior is completely irresponsible!”
You try to come up with a few excuses, but you know you can’t justify spending over $1,000 per week. All the while, fully aware that a cashier literally just swiped your card. There goes next month.
The grueling conversation finally ends, and you’ve never been happier to stop talking to a person. That was more painful to deal with than some gargoyle-faced loser who has the audacity to try to dance with you at a party.
I still remember the first time my dad let me use his gold card. My friend and I were going to the mall and I was given a $50 limit, which is pretty manageable when you’re 11 years old. It was the first time I used his card, and the first time I spent more than he told me I could. The guilt that comes with over-spending loomed over me like the teacher who won’t go away when you’re trying to cheat on a test. I vividly remember telling my older sister that I didn’t like using our parents’ cards and I felt guilty doing so. She simply replied, “You’ll get over it.” And I did. I used that shiny little magic card more and more, and the guilt faded away.
Since the sixth grade, my spending’s gotten worse and worse. Still, my parents gave me a platinum AMEX as a high school graduation gift, and the arguments have pretty much been monthly ever since. I’ve learned it’s best not to think about it until it’s actually happening. You can’t very well hide the statement each month. Obviously. Someone needs to pay it, or your funds will cease to exist. There’s really no avoiding the conversation, unless maybe you stick to the limit your parents have set for you, but that’s just not realistic. Instead, you just keep making the same mistake, fully convinced that it’s their mistake for trusting you with the card, and hope they don’t slaughter you at the end of the month…or worse, cut you off.