Living with credit

Walking the financial tightrope

Emily Crone

On this day in 1974, Philippe Petit, a French stuntman, walked across a tightrope strung between the two World Trade Center towers in New York City. He went between the towers not just once, but many times. You might have seen this infamous act performed in the recent documentary, “Man on Wire,” made about him.


In this stinkin’ economy, you may feel like you’re walking along a tightrope — financially shaky and just one small step from disaster. I usually don’t feel this way, but lately I have. My credit card balance was at zero until I was hit with a $300 medical bill last month that I didn’t have the cash for. I was having some health issues and had to see several more doctors, and the co-pays continued to add up. A few other unexpected expenses popped up, too, and I also did some impulse shopping that I sorely regret. This unfortunate cascade of events and some poor decisions have made me feel like I’m wavering across a financial tightrope.

I’m not used to carrying a balance, so having one that I can’t pay off right away has been frightening. I know I will have this all paid off soon, and I have acknowledged my mistakes. I know I have an emergency fund that I could use if things really got bad. But now that I know what it feels like to have more debt than you can pay off with one paycheck, I am determined to attack any future debt immediately rather than prolonging it by making unnecessary purchases. Lesson learned!


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  • Thanks for the link, Emily!

  • Ben

    Thanks for mentioning the payday loan post.