Credit Cards and Consumer Debt
Planning for Crises

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By buckmizer
March 30, 2006

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First of all, I have a proud announcement. My son was born on March 10 and mostly he is strong and healthy.

It's my guess though, that most people would want to see a more solid word than "mostly." Fact is, he was born with a fairly advanced cleft lip and palate and will require three surgeries in the next year. The first one being near the end of May.

All in all, emotionally, we are handling the issues pretty well. It really helped that it was detected early. I still go through emotional volleyball between feeling bad (or sorry for my family) about this defect and feeling guilty for feeling bad, because I have had friends go through much worse.

Okay, now I am going to try to get this post back on topic.

A while back, a poster took me to task for being insensitive to her debt-load because of all the crises that her and her family members have been through. My counter-point was that life happens to all of us and I am not immune from this.

We run into problems when we think that something will not happen to us. I doubt that anyone who gets into debt thinks something bad might happen down the road.

I guess that's why I have grown to loathe debt so much in my life. Life has happened to me multiple times now. When I was 24 and going to live forever, I almost died from the onset of (undiagnosed) Crohn's Disease. That was a time in my life that I had so little control on just my day-to-day actions, the last thing I wanted was another entity with some kind of hook in me.

I look at any debt as that hook. I don't care if it's low-interest, zero-interest, comes with rewards, etc. A hook is a hook.

So I worked to become consumer debt free and have been proud to do so. Doing this has given me great peace of mind. We have been able to deal with problems with life on a day-to-day basis, without a huge sense of urgency or panic.

Still, I am facing some big challenges. We have a decent amount of savings that can handle much of the burdens to come with the plastic surgery and such in the coming months. Do I have enough? Who knows? There are other things that we would like to do like keep my wife home. Since we use her group insurance, you could imagine what we might face with my Crohn's.

What's my point? We hear so much about getting out of debt to build wealth, but sometimes it's important to get out of debt just to keep your head above water.

Right now, I am managing, but who knows? Maybe I get rear-ended tonight. Either way, if I had to start debt again because of some tragedy, at least I would be starting at 0, and not some negative four or five digit number.

And it would be a safe bet that my first priority would be to get rid of the debt, because I plan on living a lot longer. I hope to have plenty of time for something else to happen. And if it doesn't, well that's gravy. : )

want to see my boy? Try, go to BabyNet, click on the W block and look for Jane and Fred. If you see Henry Charles, then you have the right picture.

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