Have you read Jim’s profile? There is some very good stuff in it. I hope you don’t think I am done with the profiles just because I had the most popular personal finance blogger here. There are plenty of other interesting people to interview, and Jaimie from PaidTwice is here to prove that. Her blog shares one reasonable and down to earth approach to money and life.
Ok, enough intro, let’s give the word to Jaimie:
SI: What’s wrong with debt? Some people live in debt all their life and always get into more debt – and they all seem to be happy. Why do you choose to get out of debt?
Jaimie: Well, that may be true – they may be happy, but we weren’t happy. Debt made us feel trapped, anxious, and on edge, and like we were practically drowning. And, truly, we were one step away from a major disaster for a very long time. Things are deeper than the surface – we may have looked happy, but we certainly didn’t feel happy.
SI note: She is right, but how many people get it? The advertising everywhere is washing your brain and telling you to be happy buying things with loans. It’s not very easy to reject the offers, is it?
SI: What made you stop using credit cards in 2003? Did you change your mind and turned away from the consuming culture or you have always had your view about finance but couldn’t stop using credit earlier?
Jaimie: For me, I finally realized what credit card debt was doing to my emotional well-being – I felt anxious, trapped, and practically hopeless. I honestly didn’t really realize what I was doing to myself until I started to get out of debt. I never saw it as not being able to stop – more not realizing that what I was doing was not working for us. Eventually I saw the light so to speak, and we started slowly getting ourselves out of debt.
SI note: Can you tell how many credit cards you have without checking your wallet? Many people go far beyond Jamie’s situation in 2003 before they realize that getting the next credit card is not exactly the way to solve their financial situation.
SI: Do you see a connection between growing financial intelligence and personal development? How did your decision to solve the financial problems changed you as a person?
Yes, I definitely think there’s a connection between my own financial awareness, and then intelligence, and my personal development. This process has made me really think about what I value, and question all of the assumptions I had held for so long. It has been for me more of a financial awakening than anything else. I really spent a lot of time very clueless about the whole idea of finances and I have grown tremendously in the process of organizing my finances and organizing my life.
SI note: That again makes me think if you are in financial trouble, you’d better concentrate on your internal assets rather than rushing to make/save money. Of course if you are in such a trouble that you have nothing to eat, this may not work great (unless you can learn how to live without food at all)