I Almost Blew It
I might be considered one of the people that fall into the bottom 20% in the US economy. Over the years I've been fiscally prudent with my meager income and I've got one helluva good credit score. (I mean excellent good.) My mortgage is paid off, I never had a cable bill (It's against my religion, but that's another story) and I always seem able to put a little something into my brokerage account on a regular basis.
I figure that by the time I retire I will have worked myself up to the top of the bottom 40-50% of the US economy. Mostly this will be due to the knowledge I've gained here at the Fool.
I got the usual credit cards, one of them being my VISA. I like my VISA and I have a more than a good credit limit by most standards on the card IMHO. They (VISA or more appropriately the issuing bank) unexpectedly sent me a small series of checks that I can use that would be put on my card account. The big thing is my discount brokerage would accept them! I was thinking OMG I could put a pretty penny into my brokerage account and take advantage of these market swings!
I almost did it. I was in my car with the check in hand on my way to my friendly neighborhood discount brokerage office. I almost deviated from my strict plan of only putting funds I already have and don't need immediately into my brokerage account and pooling it with my dividend returns. This gives me about 4 windows of investing time during the year. My windows have been getting larger over time due to more dividends being more spread out. But I digress.
I almost violated one of the Foolish tennants to never invest with debt. It might not have seemed like much to some, but it would've been leveraging just the same.
Most everyone here knows that Buffett says, "It takes a life time to build a good reputation and only 5 minutes to destroy it." The same thing can be said for your credit rating.
When you have good credit many things are just easier in this economy, especially if you use it responsibly. So I refrained from what I now perceive as being irresponsible with my credit. I'm writing this now to reinforce this responsibility to myself, cuz the temptation is still there.
I may never be a Billionaire, but I know I will be Foolishly comfortable.