Wednesday, April 04, 2012

I Kissed Credit Cards Goodbye!

Back over two years ago, I attended a seminar provided by a speaker who is a managing director of one of the leading banks in the Philippines.  I could no longer vividly remember what his topic was all about, but I do remember that he mentioned about the next “booming” industry for Philippine banks:  which is consumer loans.  House amortization and car mortgages would go less as compared to previous years, BUT there will be an increasing demand for customer loans.  How?  Through the issuance of credit cards!

My first credit card
I had my first credit card approved at age 21.  I never even thought it was possible to have one at such young age, because I thought that those people who looks “cool” swiping cards in paying for their purchases or restaurant bills are only those people who are really so level above there, or those people who really earn much from their monthly salary or business income.  At age 21, I had my first ‘real’ job in the corporate world and a credit card agent went into our office to offer us credit card applications.  My salary, at that time, was not at a level to be approved for a credit card of an international bank, and I bet that the sales agent, in order to get my card approved (aka: to gain some commission), distorted my salary and raised it up, and even “lengthened” my job tenure at the office to a year or two (The truth is: I was still just a few months old in my job that time).  And phew! Just a month after, tadah, I had my first credit card issued by one of the international bank providers. Yeeeebaaaa!!!  \(“,)/

The joy of having a credit card and the bad side of it
I remembered, as well, how my heart jumped for excitement when I had my first purchase using my card.  It was like, whooolaa, I can just buy whatever whenever. :P  I feel that my credit card limit was my “own” money.  It was my ‘savior’ when I do not have a ready cash and I want to buy something, or purchase an airline ticket online whenever I misses home.  When I went on to pursue my professional license in Manila, my credit card limit was also increased and more credit card companies offered me more cards!!! Ohlala…

I Kissed Credit Cards Goodbye

From age 21 to present, I received a total of three international credit cards (one of which, with some interference from my guardian angel, was not able to arrive in my mailbox at my apartment in Manila. Thank heavens!) and one card issued by a Philippine local bank.  And it feels sooooo good! Especially that I can readily purchase airline tickets on sale because of the card.  I was also able to use my credit card points to get free airline ticket. :)

But I mismanaged it.  There came a point when I used the credit cards during emergency, until it became a habit. I was drown swimming with credit card debts, and ended up paying just a little above the monthly minimum payment because I could no longer meet my monthly expenses, plus the compounded interest charged by credit card companies added-on to my outstanding balance, leaving me with much debt to pay than I supposedly should just have!

I kissed credit cards goodbye!
Though I let go of a credit card advantage, ie credit card points/freebies, I decided a year ago to pay off all my credit cards and closed all of them.  (huhuhu…) It was a blessing in disguise that the company I’m working on right now required me to close my international credit cards because they are “our clients”, and with the nature of my job, I should remain independent of them.  Hence, the need to close them down.  It was hard for me, at first, because those cards had been with me for four years already, and we’ve been through together through thick and thin, ups and down.  But, I have to let them go, except for one: I still have my credit card issued by a Philippine local bank.

This remaining card is no longer treated as a ‘credit card’, but as an automatic vehicle for my tithes to my spiritual community, monthly funding to my variable investment and membership fees for my educational enhancement. =)

It is now Cash Purchases.
I’m thankful that God made way for me to learn managing personal finances through the people He allowed me to meet.  Over a year ago, I set up an automatic savings account, wherein a certain percentage of my salary account will go to my savings account.  I authorized my bank to do the saving transaction automatically, so I never have to take time to do it myself.  This is an encouraged practice for everyone.  Over time now, I consider this “savings account” (or emergency fund) as another person, wherein for cases that I need to take some money from it (ie: like buying Sonia and purchasing travel tickets), I make sure that I pay it the next month or on my next payday, otherwise I also charge “interest” to my own self, hence increasing more of the savings account. =D

By the way, with the winter season now over, there are lots of sale going on. And when it says sale, it really is 80-90% off sale!!! :) So instead of having my lunch yesterday, I went to a shop and purchased quiet a number of branded dresses for such affordable cheap prices!!! (I’m not the typical shopaholic and I even rarely shop.  And it was a good way to buy something when it is sale.)  ^_^ 

I wore one of the corporate dresses (as above) when I reported to work this morning. :)  Some dresses will be used for our Paris tour this weekend. Yey! \(“,)/

- - - - -

Peace of mind is priceless.  Even though I am tempted to apply for a credit card here abroad to use for purchasing my travel tickets to feed my happy travelling feet, I controlled myself not to.  I chose cash, rather than credit. :) Hmmmm, maturity indeed come at the right time.


Keep learning and keep on moving forward!

Lyn-Lyn _(“,)/


  1. How i wish i can go to paris with you. And i so envy the sale you experienced! basi amo na ang reason why ang ukay ukay gin tawag UK? hahaha. enjoy miga!

    1. Hi mig! :) hahaha, it might be nga the reason why it's called ukai-ukai. ha ha.. jowk. :) Well, here and in other countries, whenever they say "Sale", it's really s-a-l-e. ^_^

  2. Hi Sis Lyn lyn, Very nice article. And good taste sa dress. hehe.
    Stay happy and cheerful. Kaya tuwang tuwa sau si Mama Cha.

    1. Hi Dadi E! :) Naks..thanks sa comment. ^_^ Napapaisip na nga ako simula pa kahapon na gawin ng profile pic sa FB ang piktyur. ha ha ha! :) Natutuwa din ako ky Mami Cha, tagal na din nmin d nakapag-usap ng matagal dahil so busy bee pa sa work ngaun. Next week, hopefully, relax na. :-) Lagi ka na mag-visit at mag-comment dito, ha. :) God bless sa inyo ni Mami Cha. _(",)/

  3. also thinking of closing my credit card (citibank), HAHA
    but maybe just need to control bec of convenience it offers.
    without it, i always get surprised na it's payday.
    now, i have more months than pay HAHA

    1. @Kuya Omeng: Ngiawks... :) Ok nman if you have credit card, pero disiplina lng din needed, and be ensure that you are able to pay it FULL before your statement date, otherwise the finance charges are really OVERWHELMING! Use credit cards to your advantage. *winks*

  4. I have a similar post about credit cards too! :)
    I'm glad you still kept one card. There are still advantages of owning one. Just don't abuse it :)

  5. Lucky are those who are born frugal, right? Most came from spendthrift days before waking up to financial literacy. My wake up call is the loneliness inside me. I maybe earning a lot now as an OFW but I'm not happy thus, the road to financial awakening begun.


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