If you've still got some credit cards lying around "just for emergencies," it's time to break up with them. Today.
But you can have some fun with saying good-bye.
Jon Acuff's here to help you do just that. Check out this excerpt from his new book, Gazelles, Baby Steps and 37 Other Things Dave Ramsey Taught Me About Debt.
By Jon Acuff
Five years after my wife and I read The Total Money Makeover and dumped our credit cards, we got a surprising letter from our credit card company. They hadn't heard from us in a while and just wanted to see how we were doing. They promised that they'd change if we took them back. Things would be differentthis time. If we'd only give them a second chance, we'd see.
After drying the tears of laughter that had streamed down my face, I realized why that letter was so funny to me. It was written like a scorned girlfriend or boyfriend. It literally read like someone I had dated who wanted to be back in my life. And that's when I had an idea—maybe I hadn't been clear enough in expressing my desire to never date that credit card again. Maybe there was still a door open that I needed to close once and for all.
Maybe we needed closure.
Thus, the invention of the "credit card break-up letter." Much like the form letters in the back of Financial Peace, this letter should be used as a tool—an awesome tool—to officially dump your credit card. Enjoy!
Dear (NAME OF CARD),
Wow, I don't really know where to begin. We've had some good times, haven't we? Remember that vacation I took you on? We had so much fun in (LOCATION). It wouldn't have been the same if you hadn't been there and had my back. And who can forget the time you helped me pay my (NAME OF BILL). That was a lifesaver!
But a few months later, I felt confused and hurt when you asked me for all that money back, plus 20% interest. I thought we had something special. I thought what we had was true. But now that I look back on it, for you, our entire relationship was about money. And it feels really one-sided. I give and I give and I give, and you just take, take, take. Sure, you give me small gifts here and there that you call "rewards," but even those I have to "earn."
I can't live this way. I feel like I don't even know you anymore. I want you out of my house, out of my life, and most importantly, out of my wallet.
I've found somebody else. Somebody I can trust. Somebody without hidden motives or hidden fees. He's simple but honest. Hardworking and true. I found someone who really cares about me and isn't into playing games.
I'm dating cash.
Don't call me anymore. I don't want you or your empty promises of frequent flyer miles. It's over.
Don't walk away mad. Just walk away, credit card… just walk away.
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