Monday, August 2, 2010

201,000 Reasons


Image from The English Spot

There are 201,000 reasons I should be scared shitless.

A couple of weeks ago, after arriving home from another domestic trip, I swapped credit cards that I kept in my wallet. I usually carry only two cards, depending on the types of purchase that I would anticipate. I use one card with a higher credit limit and more bonus perks for travel, and another for gas purchases because of the higher rebates it offers. I also always carry around yet another one for emergencies only.

So as I was replacing the cards, I noticed that one of them had a tear right along the magnetic strip. I haven't really noticed it until then, I haven't had to use it for months anyway. But just the same, I wondered if I could have it replaced.

I promptly called up the card company, and they said they'd be sending me my replacement in a week. Great, I thought. There wasn't any hurry, but I looked forward to it just the same.

So it came today, along with a notice that they have decided to up my credit limit. Crap!


Just yesterday, I learned that one of my loans had already been paid off. A week ago, I had the balance of one of my cards transferred to another for a magnificent rate of 0.50% per month interest. A month ago, I've successfully been able to get a stay on my annual dues for yet another card. For the past 4 months, I've been able to keep true to my promise of not using any other card except for the one I use for gas purchases. 6 months ago, I paid off the total balance of still another card and promptly cut it into itty-bitty little pieces. (They still claim I've some dues to pay, though. Good thing I've got emailed evidence to the contrary)

So you can see, I've been such a financially responsible kid for half a year. The trouble is, they're on to me.


Besides today, last week a telemarketer told me I was one of the lucky cardholders that could avail of an outright loan from them at only 1% interest per month. Last month, I got a letter that I only needed to use my credit card 5 times in a month to avail of a free watch. 4 months ago, I got a pre-approved credit card in the mail with a free dinner on my first use.

So far, I've been holding out fairly well. But there's only so much a man like me could take.

Just yesterday, I stopped by an appliance and electronics store while waiting for a meeting. There it was, a shiny new LCD television set with a free home entertainment system at a rock-bottom price. And if I use my credit card, I could have it paid in 12 installments at 0% interest. But wait, there's more... for an additional amount, I could get an mp3 player thrown into the mix as well. Last month or so, as my phone was getting noticeably wonky, I passed by another electronics store and saw a nifty mobile phone also available in 0% installments. And did you know that a leather seatcover set for my car could also be paid for by plastic?

Really now, why is the world conspiring against my financial health?


I put the notice and the card back in its envelope, and hid it underneath my underwear drawer. I also tucked just the one credit card for gas in my wallet. I've come so far down this road that I can't afford the risk of being sidelined and back in the hole, so to speak.

"Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in!" - Michael Corleone, The Godfather III

For this and his other (mis)adventures, read Hap's blog, "A lot of nothing to say."
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