My Friend Chase

Last Tuesday I shared how my accidental intoxication turned me into a bar-hopping-stage-dancing-alcohol-drinker. If you missed it, check it out here.

Of course, being a student and working part-time, I could not maintain this lifestyle of going to the bar five nights a week. Well, physically, I was maintaining it fine. 😉 It was the finances that began to unravel.

When I first moved to Grand Rapids for college, my mother had me on quite a strict financial leash. There’s really no other way to describe it. We shared a Quicken account and I was instructed to send her monthly update e-mails, showing how I was spending my money and the current balance. At some point, the Quicken software crashed and that is when my financial accountability crumbled. Because I was no longer sending my mother updates, I viewed this to mean I could do whatever I wanted with the money. Freedom!

Back then, I had (and still do have) a strong desire to be liked and accepted by others. I think most people deal with this to an extent, but as I have mentioned before – rejection is one of my biggest fears.

As I burrowed myself into this newfound lifestyle of partying, the home I shared with my roommate quickly became the hub for before and after parties. But, in my mind, I couldn’t just have a place for people to hang. It had to be PIMP. I opened a Circuit City credit card and used my rad employee discount to purchase a TV, surround sound, multiple party music cds and movies. I even purchased movies I didn’t like – solely because I wanted people (guys) to come over and say, “Wow! You have this movie?? You must be cool.” And then they would have an immediate crush on me. At least in my logical world they would. ha.

So now, had I not only been using my money to go out and party, I also tacked on credit card debt to create a magnetic atmosphere where people would want to spend their time.

There came a point where I could not pay my credit card bill, so I opened another credit card and transferred my balance over for 0% interest. I was so smart! It was such an amazing deal. A couple months later, I couldn’t pay that balance, so I opened a Chase credit card and transferred the balance again. Eventually, through a process of transferring card after card, I ended up with a $16,000.00 credit card balance. Most of what I had purchased with this credit was electronics, clothing, alcohol, tanning packages [yes, I am naturally this white ;)] music and movies.  There were a few school related items on there, but not many.

I knew I had a problem, but I didn’t really care. I expected to graduate from college and hop into a $40,000/yr job. At the time for a single girl, that seemed like a lot of money to me. My plan was to get the job and immediately start paying down the debt.

But things didn’t end up that way.

And now, I’m going to leave you on a major cliffhanger. I’m going to pick up this story after the 1st of the New Year. Bwahaha. Although I am making you wait, I promise it will be worth it. This story gets so much better!

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