Don’t get too crazy when you discover credit cards. You may hear this all the time, but you’d be surprised how many 40-somethings are still saddled by credit from their highly charged 20s. One women in LA laments that the closetful of designer shoes and handbags she collected in her twenties doesn’t come in handy as she stays at home with her child and her husband struggles in his creative but competitive low-paying field. Another woman in Ohio recalls her engagement almost undone when she told her fiance that he was also marrying a $20,000 credit card debt. In your twenties you may think freedom and independence is being able to buy things for yourself, or to “put it on my tab” but real freedom is being financially independent and free of debt. You need to have a little fun and need to build a credit history, but as in all things, choose your indulgences wisely.
“Don’t go out and buy Gucci shoes. You could buy that later when you have your own money. I was going about my twenties thinking, I want to buy a Gucci bag. I want a Prada. What was I thinking? I should’ve taken all that Prada money and put it in a house. All these Prada shoes but now what? Who cares! They sit in my closet. But… if you’re bound and determined to buy something, buy a bag. The one advice my mom did tell me was ’If you’re going to go to Gucci, don’t buy shoes, buy handbag’. A handbag you can always preserve better than shoes. Shoes get worn out. It’s really hard to resell but you sell a bag thirty years later. It’s easier to keep in mint condition.” — Forty-something, married, stay-at-home mom for now, Pasedena, CA
Throwback Thursday: This post originally appeared in October 2010.