I have decided that the best metaphor for credit cards are shovels. Stay with me and I'll explain.
You are standing around one day digging a hole with your hands (let's just pretend you're planting flowers). It may take awhile to finish digging the hole, but at the end of the day you'll be proud of the hard work you put in and knowing that you did it all by yourself.
Then one day the mail man comes and drops off a little envelope. In that little envelope there is a note from a shovel company and it says, "You are doing so good that we'd like to help you". And you think, yes, a little help would be great.
A few days later a shiny new shovel arrives. You don't really need to dig any more holes right now but you figure, heck, I have this shovel I might as well dig a hole. So you dig a few holes and fill them in with new flowers.
A few months later you decide to dig a bigger hole, maybe to plant a tree, and you decide you need a bigger shovel. So the shovel company says, "Of course, you've been great at digging holes, here is a bigger and better shovel". You get the new shovel and plant your tree.
A few years later you have more shovels than you know what to do with. You have holes all over your yard and you're not sure how or what to fill them in with. So you go to the shovel company and say, "Excuse me Dear Shovel Company, it looks like I have dug too many holes and I need a little help filling them back in, can you help me?". And the shovel company looks at you in your weak state and says, "No sir, we help dig holes not fill them in"
And that is why a shovel is a good metaphor for credit cards...all they do is dig holes.
Seriously though, when you think of it in metaphor terms like that, would you ever really dig a hole with no plan on how to fill it back in?
But then again, I know sh*t happens that we all can't plan for and that's how credit card companies get to screw with you. They plan 20 steps ahead of us and know our moves before we do sometimes.
I am hoping that 2011 will be the year of financial freedom for us. Money can be a very sensitive topic for many people and I understand that. I'm hoping to bring a little comic relief to the topic to help us achieve our goal, so bare with me as I rant and rave and hopefully come out victorious in the credit card mine field.