Give Health Some ‘Credit’
I love to travel. I might even say I was born with a wild curiosity for adventure. I love exploring new places, seeing new sights, and taking in unfamiliar scenery. I live for that stuff! It expands my mind and my heart, giving me a larger lens of which to see the world and a greater capacity to experience the bigger picture. But traveling requires money. Now of course, you can spend thousands on an elaborate trip or can skimp by on campsites and packed food, but either way, you must have a little dinero to leave your zip code. So today, as I thought about my future adventures, I discovered the Unexpected Health in…credit cards.
Now hold on just a second…I am in NO way suggesting that credit card debt is the way to go. In fact, there is quite a dis-ease of overspending and excess that has become an epidemic in this country. There is absolutely no health in living beyond your means, spending more than you have, or living a life on “plastic” (aka credit cards!). But the Unexpected Health in credit cards is that since these credit card companies have endless spending ‘perks’, if you are going to have a plastic card, at least benefit from the offers…and taking “lemons and making lemonade” out of any situation is healthy.
Let me explain: we all have credit cards. We all don’t live off of credit and we definitely don’t all live beyond our means…but we all have at least one MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover card that lingers in our wallets. These companies have helped get us Americans in a lot of trouble with no-interest charges, high spending limits, and easy pay-as-you-go plans…you pay what you can, and your total amount GOes way up because of interest rates! But we could also thank these credit card corporations as well; they have given us at least a little payback for our spending. It’s called…miles!
Credit card miles are fantastic…and to me, anything fantastic HAS to be healthy! Today I looked over my travel plans for the summer and fall and two of my plane trips were paid with miles. Yes, I had to spend money to rack up these miles, but I would have spent the money anyway. Now, because of my Chase mileage account, I am flying high in the friendly skies for zero dollars.
It is unrealistic to cut our credit cards and pay our way through life in cash (unless you have a spending problem…then a cash-only lifestyle may be your best option). Sometimes we just need a little wiggle room with our money distribution. So credit cards, as harmful as they CAN be, offer a wonderful way to both spend as needed and save as wanted. As we spend, we save. As I have spent money last year and this year, I have been saving my miles. Now, as I have weddings, training, and other travel to do, I can do so without ‘breaking the bank.’ So the next time you pull out your credit card, make sure you are getting some return on your investment. If you don’t have a credit card with some sort of payback plan (miles, dividends, cash, whatever), get on the Internet, research the best give-back program out there, and transfer your card! In tough economic times, if you are going to spend money, at least have your money working for you. It is the most healthFUL way to make use of your spending. -Until tomorrow, Suze Orman…I mean, Jaime
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