Credit History: What did I buy?

When it comes to spending money on unnecessary products, I used to be the Queen of them all. I had so many guilty pleasures that were attached to my credit card - there was no actual guilt associated. Because I couldn’t see the actual receipt or individual amounts add up each month, I never felt it was anything to bat an eye at. Until recently, what I had spent my money on in the past was just that, the past. The money I spent wasn’t going to disintegrate just because I looked at where it all went and felt shame. However, for the good of the readers – I dove in.

It was depressing I have to admit. Knowing that I have spent money that could have gone towards my retirement, a down payment on a home, or my wedding hurts to the core. I have made such great progress this year that it definitely hurts less than it could. Thank god for the PF blogging world for turning my financial life around.

More than for myself, I’m sharing these numbers for my readers. If you haven’t taken a good look at your current financial situation, I suggest you do. Where has your money gone? Was it worth it?

I broke things down into the 4 categories that were truly detrimental to my downfall, which were: ITunes, Clothing, Dining, and Parking. After doing all of this research, I have removed my credit card number from my ITunes account. I am seriously disgusted with myself and although I have always known this was a terrible habit, I never want to see that “APL-itunes-052531” pop up on one of my credit card bills again!

2009 First credit card

ITunes – $271.91

Clothing – $970.70

Dining Out – $301.34

Parking – $62.50

Year-End Balance = $25.58

2010

First year of college

ITunes – $526.47

Clothing – $1153.13

Dining Out – $537.52

Parking – $639.50

Year-End Balance = $786.62

2011

First year living alone

ITunes – $148.69

Clothing – $2175.24

Dining Out – $1634.42

Parking – $429.25

Year-End Balance = $3012.85

2012

First year of university

ITunes – $102.44

Clothing – $908.01

Dining Out – $466.75

Parking – $677.30

Year-End Balance = over $3000

2013

First year at new job

ITunes – $217.03

Clothing – $1342.49

Dining Out – $407.79

Parking – $185.40

Year-End Balance = over $4000

2014 Back to college I go

ITunes – $426.99

Clothing – $1067.56

Dining Out – $515.75

Parking – $53.95

Year-End Balance = over $5000

Total spend over 6 years ITunes – $1693.53 Clothing – $7617.13 Dining Out – $3863.57 Parking – $2047.90 Overall = $15,222.13

I spent a down payment for a house on “stuff”. I could have paid my debt 2x over with what I spent on products and food. Credit cards only fulfill that emotional hole for a moment. Debt fills your head with doubt, stress, and depression for much longer.

Before you go out to the mall this weekend, think about whether or not you can truly afford to be there. It’s funny that I say I’ve never seen that kind of money before, but it’s because I was so busy spending it I never gave myself the chance.

It is pretty obvious that every year I gave myself a new spending persona just by looking at where my credit went.

In 2009 I listened to my parents advice and always paid my balance. In 2010 I started to get a little bit more aggressive as a college student. In 2011 I was the super cool friend who was always shopping or out for dinner. In 2012 I was barely making ends meet. In 2013 I was living in a townhouse I couldn’t afford and continued to increase my limit. In 2014 I lived in a small town where I couldn’t buy anything, but I still managed to spend. Fast forward to 2015 where I now owe less than $1,800 on my credit cards and am soon to be debt free.

I now know I am on the right track and I have so much potential moving forward with my finances. It’s so nice to see that small changes like decreasing spend can make a huge difference in how you feel. Stability is more important to me now than it ever was before, and I love it.

What were some things that lead you to your financial downfall?