on financial adulthood

I don't really make New Year's resolutions, so I would like you to understand that this entry doesn't really have a lot to do with the beginning of the calendar year. The timing of this is really just a coincidence.

This morning I went through my credit reports, which I have been doing every year for the past 4 or 5 years. I was pleasantly surprised to see that things are starting to look up.

I have always been pretty bad about money - bad credit, nothing saved for a rainy day; you know this story. I ran up what was, to me, a lot of debt in my early 20s. I did it quite blithely, convinced (as many others have been and will continue to be) that I would get some fabulous, fun-filled and well-paying job that would allow me to pay off all of my debt very quickly and painlessly.

If you all know my job history, or even parts of it, you can guess pretty easily that this didn't happen.

And I had no tools to deal with my impending financial meltdown. Somehow panic attacks and "duck and cover" did not help! I can tell you that I handled it all very badly and not at all calmly. I halfheartedly tried to work with credit card companies, debt consolidation firms and collection agencies. When I met with the slightest resistance (and I did encounter a LOT of straight-up jerks who only wanted to yell at me), I ducked and covered some more.

I haven't used a credit card since 2002 or 2003.

After years of considering bankruptcy, and all of the research that I did during my considering, I feel like I now have a better understanding of HOW THINGS ARE. I wish I had handled things differently in the past, but I feel like I'm ready to start building on the present.

My car is paid off, and my phone is month-to-month. I think that I'm ready to start rebuilding my credit, and I hope that I can maturely handle this task. I have a good job, and I'm fairly compensated, and I am used to spending what I can afford to spend.

We'll see how this goes.


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