This is Part 6 of the series to serialize my book The Money Mentor: A Tale of Finding Financial Freedom. Click here to start reading from Part 1. Every other week will have another segment of the story of how a 23-year-old dancer struggles with and ultimately overcomes the burdens of her crushing financial debt. Look for posts on a variety of topics in the intervening weeks.
“I’m going to surprise you,” he started by saying, “and tell you a little secret. I’ve never maxed out a credit card, not one card. In fact, I hardly use credit cards. Why should I? I’ve got good credit—people are happy to accept my checks.”
I couldn’t speak at all, so of course, I didn’t answer.
“I always say that my signature on a check is as good as the Secretary of Treasury’s signature on our currency. In the old days, when gold backed our money, that phrase ‘In God We Trust’ had a lot more meaning than it does today, but that’s another story.” He chuckled, adding, “You won’t be here long enough today to hear all about that.”
Thank God, I thought, because even though my jaw felt numb, I could feel the drill whirring deep down toward the bottom of my molar. I also didn’t know what in the world he was talking about, and he sounded pompous.
“Now I’m going to make an exception to the rule about not using credit cards,” he said. “The way they’ve set things up, you’ve pretty much got to use them to make rental car reservations, buy tickets over the phone, order products off the Internet, and so on. But when I do that,” here he raised his voice for emphasis, “I immediately pay my bill in full as soon as it arrives. I never carry a balance on any credit card. If I had a choice, in fact, I would use debit cards—those are cards that you can only use if you have money in the bank—but some of the carrental companies insist on credit cards. Now, you’re probably wondering what all this means in the big picture.” He stepped back, drill in raised hand, and waited with satisfaction for my reply.
“Ah-uh,” I answered, wanting him to be quiet but feeling that the sooner he worked his way through his monologue, the sooner he would finish his dentistry and let me leave.
“Open.” He stepped forward, adding, “Wider. I’m going to tell you another secret.”
For some reason, I didn’t want to know this secret.
“It will change your life. Once you know this secret, you have only yourself to blame if you don’t find the path to prosperity. You listening?”
I couldn’t close my ears. It simply isn’t fair when one person gets to talk all the time, even if they’re giving you directions to the Fountain of Youth and El Dorado. I like to talk, too.
Taking my silence as encouragement, he continued, “The ancient world had seven wonders, but the famed banker, Baron de Rothschild, couldn’t name any of them when someone asked him to. Instead, he said that he would reveal the eighth wonder—compound interest.”
If you don’t want to wait two weeks for the next post in this series, you can purchase The Money Mentor on Amazon.