Updated, preface: yes, this is, as my brother says, “some self-righteous shit.” I know. I know my money-guilt is crazy.
NYT on buying new boobs on credit: “She said she pays $178.01 monthly to the finance company and does not know how long it will take her to pay off the debt on her credit card.” “I financed my car. Why shouldnâ€™t I finance my face?”
Well, the answer is that you really shouldn’t have financed either, unless they’re going to bring in more money than you spend on them. If it’s on credit, it should be an investment. In other words, unless you’re a stripper, cosmetic surgery is out. Unless a car is the only way for you to get a job, you shouldn’t finance a car. Unless you’re a limo driver, using a loan to buy something nice instead of paying cash for a beater is a big mistake.
“I deserve it” and “I want it” and “I can get a loan for it” are not valid reasons to buy something on credit. If you can only afford it by going into debt, you can’t afford it.
(In my mental landscape, frankly, they’re not valid reasons to buy something at all, even if you have a giant wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket. I’d feel far more comfortable if I was able to buy only what I could prove was absolutely necessary for myself, and then use the rest to buy things that are absolutely necessary for people who don’t have them. I don’t do that. I can’t seem to make it stick, but I feel torn about every expenditure that is above the level of bare necessity. You might think that my internal financial thoughts are full of misery and gloom and guilt, and you’d be right.)
Especially “I deserve it.” I hate it when people say that. First off, no, you don’t deserve to have a perfect nose. There are all kinds of things people do deserve, but a cute button nose is not one of them. Second, when you say you “deserve” something stupid, it cheapens the things people really deserve, but don’t get. Freedom of speech. Health care. Clean air and water. Education in non-segregated, well-funded schools. Third, whether or not people deserve something is almost entirely unrelated to whether they get it.
You get things if you are lucky and/or diligent, or in the case of credit card debt, foolish. Mostly it’s down to luck.
Welcome to reality, kids. Life isn’t fair. How did you manage to grow old enough to get a credit card and use it to purchase shiny new toys without noticing that you lived in the real world and not in kindergarten?