A big part of financial freedom is having your heart and mind free from worry about the what-ifs of life.
Back in college, I fell victim to the credit card, ultimately fell into debt for the first time. At that time though, I wasn't very responsible with paying off the money I had technically borrowed. A few years later, I got a letter in the mail from a collection agency. Turns out you can't just forget about paying creditors back. They don't go away.
Instead of ignoring that letter, I worked on paying that credit card off, which began the process of rebuilding my poor credit, and much like learning anything else that I do, taught me about better money management. Before I moved to Canada, I was beginning to see what having a good credit score was all about. I was being approved for all kinds of things, including of course, more lines of credit.
I'm also embarrassed to admit this, but I've fallen back into the hole that I had dug myself out of years ago, but this time, it's a deeper one. Being off work for all that time, and other things happening (like getting my house broken into) caused me to use that credit to cushion my family's life just a little bit. Yes, I know it was stupid. The positive thing about it, and the main difference from the first time, is that I'm paying these bills. It's also one of my new phobias: missing a payment to a creditor. I had set a New Years resolution to pay off those cards, but life again had to come into play.
The one thing that I know for sure is, and learned another lesson here, I want to be rid of these things forever. Yes, I still want to hold onto one, and use it for minor purchases, just to keep my score up, but I miss the time where my head was actually above water and I was enjoying the money I was making instead of now sending it off to someone else.