For the past few years, I’ve used credit cards as an emergency fund.
Boy, when it’s in black and white, it sounds really stupid, huh? But, I don’t have piles of cash laying around, and sometimes piles of cash are required. As an independent contractor, I have to pay my own taxes. Although I have tried to be good and pay them quarterly in the past, that is often a challenge as well. So this year I didn’t. And this year I need a pile of cash. And this year the economy sucks and credit has been clamped down tight.
Every one of my credit cards has had the credit limit reduced to just what I owe, and several of them have threatened to raise the interest rate to an ungodly figure if I didn’t agree to make no more charges and close the account. I would wonder what the hell happened to my pristine credit if it weren’t for the fact that this same thing has happened to almost everybody I talk to. Likely it has happened to you as well.
A few years back, I saw the actress Sharon Stone on some television show, probably The Today Show or something like that. She was talking about the stroke she had experienced a few years before. She said, and I am greatly paraphrasing, but this is the gist — she didn’t start to really heal until she stopped resisting it and instead embraced her stroke as one of the best things that had ever happened to her. She believes that everything happens to serve her, so her stroke must have happened to serve her as well. It was a powerful interview, and I remembered it because it had such an impact on me and also because I agreed with her.
I’ve thought about that interview a lot the last few weeks. I’ve thought about it as I hear people bitching and moaning and fretting over the financial situation. (Before I get flooded with responses from angry people, please know that I recognize there are many people going through very challenging times and really, really hurting right now. Please, feel free to bitch and moan if it helps you.) But, I’ve never believed that helps. In fact, I believe it exacerbates the situation because so much energy is focused on “how bad it is.”
I decided this week to embrace the economy and the credit clamp-down as one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I’ve been vowing to pay off credit cards for years. Now, thanks to the credit crunch, I have support from the universe in doing that very thing! I’ve been swearing that I was going to stop putting ANYTHING on credit, but always found “one exception” that I could somehow justify. Now, thanks to the credit crunch, I will work out a payment plan with the tax man that does not involve Visa or Visa’s interest rates. Golly, you mean there were options all this time???
I have so many things to be grateful for. My job (both of them). My house. My partner. Our family of humans and animals. Free eggs come fall when the Dragon Bliss Chicken Herd reaches maturity.
And the credit crunch.
Thanks to the powers that be for ALWAYS looking out for me.