Confession: I typically live paycheck to paycheck. It isn’t the most ideal situation. But for now, being a single mom – it’s pretty manageable.
I consider myself exceptional at knowing the difference between a Want and a Need. There are times when I get that accomplished “pat-on-the-back feeling” because I’ve paid my bills, and there’s money left in my checking account! Woo hoo! Until life happens.
The meteorologist predicts a three-day storm, or I forgot to purchase that much needed prescription. I spend what money I have left preparing and getting necessities, and I’m left with $5.00. To a household with multiple incomes, this may not be a big problem. But for this single momma, $5.00 until my next paycheck? We still have a little over a week!
The dark clouds begin to roll in. I start to worry about the unexpected situations that could come up. Until I realize – I have a way out of this stress! Before I tell you what it is, let me explain it in a different way.
During the spring / summer months, most of us will diet to be “bikini ready,” right? You’re determined to look your best. You eat healthy day-in and day-out, and you’re doing great! You’ve lost a few inches, and those old jeans are beginning to fit again. Pat yourself-on-the-back moment! Then, one night you go grab a bite with your friends. It’s a birthday dinner, and you can’t get out of it. One “bad” meal won’t hurt, right? Why not treat yourself? You’ve done great this far! (Let’s be honest; your trainer will tell you this is a bad idea.)
In my life, my credit card is my “cheat meal”. Yes, I’m determined to spend my money where I need to! But even though I’m disciplined with my spending, I still need a little help. A credit card can cause chaos! But when used correctly, it can help you in times of need in more ways than one. It not only helps build credit, but it helps me get by when I need it. I can’t afford to use my credit card often. But when I do, it’s to get gas in between checks or those groceries that can’t wait until payday – the necessities! Staying disciplined when using it makes it easy to pay off. When my paycheck finally does roll around, I’m able to pay off what I spent. I’m ok!
Daniell Clopton is a proud momma to one beautiful little girl. She is passionate about giving back to the community and currently works at DuGood's Port Neches branch. Danielle has been a credit union member since 2007.