I am tempted to say, “Well, you’re here reading this blog so you have begun the process of improving your credit score.” I’ll keep it in these deceptive quotes however –for two reasons. First, it’s too cliche. Second, it’s pretty much bullshit when it boils down to any real progress. I am not telling you to stop reading this blog and learning from my mistakes, I am simply attempting to illustrate my first mistake: I kept telling myself, “I don’t have any money right now to pay off any debt –what can I do?” Once I woke up I realized there was something I could do, so I got another job.
I won’t give you a pep rally or a guilt trip, I’ll use math to get my point across (a point that took me a long time to realize):
debt + interest = more debt
more debt + time = hard times
My Wake Up Call
I’ll tell you the story real quick behind how I finally got this concept and said to myself, “Ok, it’s time to act and just get it over with.” I was working for this guy that lived up in the mountains (Colorado). He had about one stupid “build a website and get rich” idea a week, so he paid me to construct prototypes that would later be clumsily built in India.
During the course of my employment with this fellow, he was going through an ongoing dispute with a “potential” buyer of a heavily wooded lot next to his. Apparently my employer had cut down a dozen or so trees on the lot this man was going to buy. My employer claimed he was cutting down the trees to protect his property (and the neighbors) from wildfire –he claimed it an altruist act. While I understand there may be some logic in executing this strategy, I can also attest that my employer used that wood for his fireplace.
One day while my employer was out and I was quietly working away, a knock came at the door. “Knock, Knock” –like that. I answered the door and it was a man with a summons for my employer. A lawsuit had been brought forth by the gentlemen interested in the formally wooded lot. I could not accept this summons on behalf of my employer and as common knowledge has taught us one must be served in person before expected to appear in court.
At the time I wished that I had never showed up to work that day, because for the next two months, about twice a week, a man would come to the door with the summons and my employer would beg me to go downstairs and tell the man that he was in Mexico on vacation. On the last day of my employment, the man came to the door and I, again, obliged my employer in making up an excuse for his absence. When I went back upstairs he said (projecting humor, but in all seriousness), “I am a prisoner in my home!” I sort of blew my lid because it seemed so ridiculously obvious to me and I yelled, “Man, are you an idiot?! It’s not going to go away! It will just get worse and eventually you’ll have to deal with it!”.
I got fired, but on the drive home down the mountain, I realized that I was doing the same thing with my debt/credit situation.
Take home points:
- The longer you wait, the worse everything will get: debt, stress, life in general.
- Do what you have to do to get started even if it means temporary discomfort.
- Don’t cut down your neighbors trees.