Looking at your credit card statements or your credit report can bring forth a froth of emotions. Hopefully they’re mostly of the positive variety, but everyone has been down in the dollar dumps at one point or another.
LIKE — I’m always happy to give a thumbs-up when I learn about a credit product’s cool perks and features. One of my issuers offers a free credit score each month, and another offers a transparent, confusion-free cash back rewards system.
Other reasons to click “like”:
— An easy-to-navigate website and app to set alerts, check balances, redeem rewards, and make payments.
— A credit report without any errors.
LOVE — After a couple of years of hard work and smarter choices, finally achieving a stellar FICO score was enough to make me swoon. I’ve always had decent credit, but moving into a higher tier gave me a level of satisfaction that my commitment to better financial health was paying off. I “heart” progress!
Other reasons to click “love”:
— Seeing a zero balance on all of your credit statements.
— Cashing in on a free flight or hanging out in a cardholder VIP lounge.
HAHA — Realizing I spend way too much money on Chinese takeout (and other silly things). If your credit issuer offers a breakdown of your spending, seeing it in pie chart form can be a real eye-opener.
Other reasons to click “haha”:
— When I fumble with a chip reader only to find out the merchant doesn’t support my more secure chipped card yet.
— Randomly signing my maiden name on a credit slip despite being married for 13 years. Some habits die hard.
WOW — Discovering that you’ve accumulated thousands of reward points. Before I was keen to all this credit card stuff, I didn’t pay much attention to my points balance until one day I noticed it was there. I was able to redeem them for a whole bunch of gift cards that powered my holiday gift shopping that year.
Other reasons for a “wow” reaction:
— The totality of a credit report – it’s amazing how big one’s financial footprint can be!
— Looking at the pile of credit card offers in my “to shred” pile. Yikes!
SAD — When you look at the box on your statement that tells you how long it will take to pay off your balance. Even a small debt can seem hopeless when looking at it from that perspective.
Other reasons for a “sad” reaction:
— Imagining a day in the not-so-far future when my kids ask to be added to my credit account as an authorized user (please stop growing already!).
— Having no choice but to use plastic to pay for an unexpected expense. It happens to the best of us, despite our best efforts to build an emergency fund.
ANGRY — Scanning your credit activity and noticing that someone tried charging on your account, and it wasn’t you! I’ve caught potential fraud on my accounts a couple of times, and it is infuriating to realize that it can happen no matter how careful you are.
Other reasons for an “angry” reaction:
— When your spouse charges something that’s beyond your agreed-upon spending limit and “forgets” to tell you.
— Forgetting to take your card back from a cashier or restaurant server. Been there, done that.
Paying attention to how you react to your own credit standing can alert you if you’re not using credit in the most responsible way. If you have a lot to be sad or angry about, look for strategies to help turn those frowns upside down so you can start “liking” and “loving” your financial status.