September 10, 2007 by Marj Hatzell
As far as I am concerned, I hate the idea behind credit cards. Credit cards get many people in trouble (like, well, most of my family). We didn’t exactly have a shining example of how to handle money as children so it is a good thing that some of us have married people who are very, ahem, frugal.
I was in major credit card debt before I met Darling. He set me up on a budget, made sure I kept the check book balanced and paid my bills and soon I had no balance. Then and only then did he propose marriage. I do not blame him for a minute for waiting, I am glad we started off as a couple with no debt and not in-the-hole financially. It is because of this that I was FINALLY able to return to college and finish my degree.
One of the cards I paid off a long time ago came back to haunt me this weekend, though. A card that I thought I canceled about five years ago (and promptly cut up into teeny tiny pieces when I canceled it) sent me a notice in the mail. It seems they want to share our information with another financial institution and you must opt out of that by filling out an information card, including your account number. Well, I haven’t gotten a statement in about four years. I don’t have the credit card. I THOUGHT it was canceled! We called the company, explained the situation and asked them to give us the account number. Which they won’t do over the phone for security reasons, even though I gave them my old address, new address, security question’s answer (what is your pet’s name?) Mother’s maiden name, social security number and first-born child. Well, I didn’t really give them my first-born child. But I was ready to, because he’s been a little freak lately.
What it comes down to is this: In order to OPT OUT of the information sharing and in order to CLOSE MY ACCOUNT AGAIN ONCE AND FOR ALL, I must order a new card (which I did), fill out the Opt-out card within two weeks (it takes that long to get the new card), send it in, call the company, cancel my account AGAIN and then wait for a letter stating that it was canceled, and THEN I may cut the card up. Again. For the second time. Sheesh. The beauty of it is that they actually had the audacity to ask if I wanted to add Darling to the account. Oh, and they also asked if I wanted to be added to his account, since he has a card from the same company. Uh, no. We’re trying to get rid of them, thankyouverymuch!
Later that evening, after I had been sick the entire day (let’s just say you should never, EVER eat potato salad at a BBQ when it is 87 degrees, no matter how much you love potatoes, mmkay?), purged everything I tried to eat or drink and sat on the toilet for hours (sorry if it is TMI) and basically spent the whole day in bed, Darling decided he was going to go over the bills. At 7pm, when the kids hadn’t had dinner, I was on my third shower of the day and I could barely stand up. He suddenly turned to me and half-yelled, “WHAT THE H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY STICKS DID YOU GET AT TARZHAY THAT COST $800????” He was totally serious. It looked like he was having a heart attack, he looked so sick with worry.
“Um. Honey? Remember the tv?”
“Oh. Yeah. I forgot. Sorry.”
The nerve. Every time there is a purchase he doesn’t recognize he calls me in a tizzy, accusing me of spending all of our money on myself. Yeah, I buy tons of stuff for myself. All that bread, milk, fruit and kid’s clothing. That’s for me. Yup.
He can’t help it. He’s just
a tightwad cheap frugal. But I am proud of the fact that we both came from homes where money was scarce, food was barely provided (thank you, government cheese!) and clothing was worn until the moths didn’t want them anymore and now we live very comfortably and the only long-term debt we have is our mortgage.The car will be paid off in January.
Which means he will want to buy a new one.