One of my best friends said to me this one time:
‘The thing is, I need to keep my credit card, you know, in case of an emergency…’
What is an emergency?
What emergency would there be that only a credit card (and nothing else) could fix?
Perhaps you are late for work, it snowed last night, the car has frosted over, and you’ve been meaning to buy a scraper for weeks but keep forgetting. BOOM. Credit card. Pull that baby out and scrape away the ice…
Or maybe it is Sunday morning, you threw house party of the year last night and now, wanting to keep your title as all-round legend, you’re making everyone a breakfast to cure the hangover, but your spatula just broke. BOOM. Credit card. Fried eggs ain’t gonna flip themselves…
Apart from those two scenarios (both very realistic scenarios if you ask me), there are not many other situations where a credit card is the ONLY answer.
Start with changing the mindset that you NEED a credit card for emergencies.
I appreciate that usually a concerned parent will tell you to get a credit card ‘in case of an emergency’.
Maybe they said this because they have been your personal credit card for the past 20 years and they are super fed up of lending you money (by the way, using the excuse of “well they brought me into this world, so they should support me financially” does not count when the emergency loan is to pay off flights to the South of France that you booked when you got drunk at the weekend).
I get the logic of emergency money because I truly think having emergency money is key to feeling financially free.
But to truly be free, that money cannot come from someone or somewhere else.
Because, crazy idea here; what about if instead of relying on someone else for that security, and potentially ending up in debt afterwards to pay off unexpected life issues, how about you rely on yourself and use your own money?
- Why rely on someone else for that security, when you can rely on yourselves?
- Why would you want to use non-existent money that’s not physically there, over your own real physical money?
- Why get in debt for an emergency, when you can solve it quickly and easily yourself, without the worry of future repayments?
Now I totally appreciated if an emergency happened that suddenly required a lot of money, then yes a credit card really would come in handy BUT only if you don’t have that money readily available in your bank account right at that moment in time.
At some point, you have to stop relying on the safety of money that doesn’t even exist and start focusing on how you can support yourself.
It is liberating.
Imagine waking up and thinking “if anything goes wrong today in my life, I can bail myself out AND still be debt-free” (unless you’re already in debt, but you see what I am getting at here I hope).
WHAT A TREAT. One step closer to a stress-free life.
If you are at the start of your saving journey and you currently have £0 in the savings accounts, then it probably seems like an impossible task knowing where to start and you can read my blog on tips to grow your savings.
I get that saving up for months and seeing the numbers rising is exciting and that the thought of having to fork out £1,000 to pay for your broken-down car is not ideal. No one wants to see hard-earned pennies leaving their account without a reward from the payout (e.g. a glowing tan and a cocktail in the pool).
But unfortunately, REALITY CHECK, that is part of being an adult and it is unavoidable.
So start to change your mindset and save for emergencies, you can do this! We both know that your future self will be extremely grateful.
Happy saving (for emergencies)!