Debt Reduction

You can keep your store credit card. No, really …

I’ve been pretty darn frumpy lately – although my general mood has lightened with the new job and all sorts of good things, I still dress like someone hit me with the ugly stick. And not only one strike, but several. It doesn’t help that I work in an area that is dominated with women and that they are all fashion plates. It is ridiculous how gorgeous they all are. With all these things in mind, I decided to budget some money in my latest paycheck to buy some clothes.

I went to Savers first and found a relatively trendy top that cost $5. It was a good start. But because I’m a martyr and because I really needed a few more tops, I made it to another specialty store that sells women’s clothing. And man – the girl who waited on me was … I don’t know how to describe it. I’m not sure if she had taken a crash course in being a pushy salesman, if she worked on commission or what, but poof! That maxi dress that I was eyeballing “magically” appeared in the dressing room with the other tops that I wanted to try on. And did I know that if I opened up a store charge account I could save an additional 20% off? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge!

When it came time to make my purchases (I bought two tops for $30 – not Savers savings, but some decent tops that bring me into this century in terms of clothing), the other sales lady rang up my tops and then dropped the credit card line again. I would be able to save six more dollars if I only signed up for a credit card! As I always do, I smile very broadly and say “no thank you.”

“Oh, but you can open up the credit card and pay it off right now if you want to,” she said. And that’s when Pushy came on over.

“You can open it up and you can just cancel it right away,” she said.

And that’s when the lady in the bra section literally shrieked. “DON’T DO THAT! YOU’LL RUIN YOUR CREDIT SCORE BY DOING THAT!”

And then I found myself as a spectator in a five minute debate about credit cards, credit scores, saving money, etc., etc., etc. And wow … it was pretty bad, especially considering that the chances of me ever having a credit card again are pretty much slim to none.

I’m not sure what I could have done differently in the situation. I even said to Pushy at one point that I write a blog about debt reduction and trying to live frugally and that you all would happily flay me if I got a credit card, but she just didn’t get it! And I really try to be polite in my refusal – sometimes I even tell people that I paid off $10,000 in credit card debt and I don’t ever want to go there again.

And speaking of never going there again? I don’t know that I’m going to go to that store again. The clothes are OK, but I’ve never found a favorite piece there. And while I worked in retail and know that some stores coach/order their associates to push store credit cards, this was just ridiculous.

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5 thoughts on “You can keep your store credit card. No, really …

  1. I did finally get a Kohl’s store card, not because of the instant savings (that was nice though) but because that’s the store I buy so many of my clothes at now, and you get all the inside deals, coupons, etc. by having the card. I was VERY reluctant and had been resisting for years, but I think it has paid off. I figure if I limit myself to that card and the regular Visa I am not hurting myself.

  2. I got a Sears card when we bought our dishwasher. Balance is all paid off now, but I hated doing it. It saved us probably $50, but ugh.
    Every store and their brother has their own credit card now. You have to face it everywhere!

  3. Don’t you think that some day you might be steady enough and disciplined enough to make use of credit cards in beneficial ways? Maybe not now, but perhaps in the future? I wouldn’t flay you for getting a credit card in order to take a 20% savings. ($6 off $30).

  4. @ Joan – that’s a really good question, but my gut reaction at this point is right now I don’t trust myself enough to use credit cards. Maybe someday? But I really stink when it comes to managing money. I’m not obsessed with keeping up with the Joneses, but still … I need to give that some thought. 🙂 And thank you for not flaying me. 🙂

  5. I just found your blog today and I love this. My wife and I were at a Belk store. The woman helping her out mentioned to my wife if she opened a Belk card, that she could save 10%. Needless to say as soon as I heard this my head raised up from the cell phone i was playing with. My wife laughed. Needless to say our family motto is from the Dave Ramsey show (Cash is King, Debt is Dumb.)

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