I was doing some online banking this morning (and cringing at my credit card balance, as I often do) when I had a great idea. What if I could redeem the points on my credit card for a gift card towards paying off what I owe to MasterCard?
I thought this was the most magical idea, so I created an account on their Rewards website to see what could be done. This is what greeted me when my account opened up:
No, that is not 100 points per dollar, or 10 points per dollar. That is ONE POINT PER DOLLAR. How have I spent that much money since turning 18? That wasn’t even FIVE years ago. My mind can’t wrap itself around this number. I’m a struggling student constantly attempting to pay off debt, and here I am wasting away my hard earned money.
You know how sometimes specialists say that when you’re living an *extreme* lifestyle that sees no bounds, the only way to stop yourself is by realizing you’re doing something WRONG? I often associate this with not eating well- when someone is unhealthy enough they will decide they’ve had enough and make a change- well you guys, I’ve had enough. I’m tired of spending LOADS of money that could be going towards things that matter.
How many of those points come from coffee or random dinners, movies and other things I could easily cut down on? My guess is at least half.
I’ve tried to budget myself many times before, but this morning as I shopped on the rewards website, somewhat laughing at the ridiculousness of the fact that I could buy almost anything I wanted, I realized it was time to make a change for REAL. Enough lack of willpower, enough giving in to Starbucks just *one more time*.
I know that I’ve gotten much MUCH better with my money in the last year, but I’m still nowhere near my goal of being a conservative spender. I don’t need a lot to live happily- I prefer to spend my money on traveling, on gifts, basic needs, and on saving for a decent life when I move out. My cinnamon dolce latte might make me happy in the morning, but add all those lattes up and the sum makes me feel like crap.
My points’ balance was just what I needed to see to jump start my budgeting again. I realize I’m in the middle of Christmas shopping, but there are still changes I can make as of this moment, and I plan to. Why start fresh in January to do something that I can do today? I’m so tired of making up excuses for myself.
It’s time to grow up a little bit and make choices that will benefit me in the long-term, not just fix my caffeine withdrawals.
Oh, and if you’re wondering what I’ll be doing with those points? I’m still debating it, but I think I’m going to redeem them as a check for my savings account. That feels like at least a little bit of good karma to get me started!
Have you ever had a breaking point that made you want to change something in your life dramatically?