Hope, and a budget, might save the day

I never regret going to the mail every day. Usually I find a new Netflix movie waiting for me.

Occasionally my electric and cable bill put a damper on my day, but they're necessities of a 20-something guy living alone. But, no credit card bills for me.

Well, at least not in the mail. In hopes of not making that daily trip begrudgingly, I get e-mailed monthly my various credit card bills.

And those numbers I owe on a couple American Express cards and a Washington Mutual card aren't something I can dismiss on my lowly journalist income. But there is hope.

Like most Americans during the Christmas season, I limited my purchases on my credit cards in hopes of one day throwing off the shackles of credit card debt. According to a report from the Federal Reserve released on Feb. 7, credit card debt only rose at an annual rate of 0.8 percent in December. The less-than-1-percent increase is a significant drop off from the 13.8 percent rate of growth in November.

I reduced the amount of people on my list and did a lot of Internet shopping looking for deals.

I found setting a budget not only a contributing factor, but also a necessity to prevent my credit card debt from spiraling out of control. Hopefully, sticking to a budget will help me overcome the obstacle of giving out my paychecks to other people.

Lack of funds may be preventing me from enjoying the nightlife of Kingman, by which I mean trips to Vegas. I see this as an opportunity to seek out the various free aspects of the city.

And when I get tired of hitting the town, I can always relax at home.

And who needs a couch? A home is where the heart is, not where one can comfortably sit while watching television.

But emergencies do arise (as in my car's constant desire to break down on me). My hope is one day to be able to buy Christmas gifts for all my family with cash, which is just as good as money, according to the great Yogi Berra.