Here's part 2 of my self-evaluation while reading The 250 Personal Finance Questions Everyone Should Ask by Peter Sanders.
My story of how I became entrapped with debt is probably similar to many others. It first started with being laid off, and trying to pays bills while living on unemployment alone. Bouncing around from job to job during the time when I got married and started a family. More recently it has been things like hospital bills, car repairs, etc. It seems that the problems never cease. I never really tried to manage it, other than moving credit card balances around to get the next great introductory rate until I got to the point where no one else would issue me a card. At this point my credit score was down, due to too many accounts, balances near credit limits, and little income. The only way I got out of this was by refinancing my house to consolidate the debt. Fast forward now to the present and things aren't as bad, however I've finally gotten sick of this constant debt and am ready to get myself out. I've paid the minimum balances for too long.
Sometimes, it's tough to avoid big purchases. But when your car breaks or your only tv (and you're a tv-oholic), you need to replace them. Just make sure that when these situations arise, you are willing to take on the extra costs. Some costs probably aren't worth it, such as Extended Warranties, though in some instances there is a good reason, such as when I got my wife a new car. I felt safer knowing that she was covered in her car, in case of problems.
(to be continued)