You might be an entrepreneur if…every time your credit card works in a public place you feel an overwhelming sense of relief.
Of course I’m talking about business credit cards, not personal credit cards. My wife manages our personal finances so those are always in good order. I, however, being of a somewhat riskier nature than my wife, prefer the wild ride. And so on a regular basis I’ll take someone to lunch, and then as I’m sitting there, waiting for the bill, I suddenly realize I haven’t checked my Amex or Visa accounts for a few days, and something could have gone through automatically, and for all I know this transaction for lunch is going to get declined and I’m going to be in the embarassing spot of having to ask my guest to pay for the lunch because I’m not into carrying cash around. But the bill comes, the card goes, it comes back approved, and unbeknownst to my guest I feel like I just dodged a bullet.
The experience is not limited to restaurants, but certainly it’s more stressful to have your card declined in public. If you go to purchase something online and you get denied, no biggie, because nobody is watching. But when, in public, you pull out one card and it gets declined, then you pull out another card and it gets declined, and then you have to pull five bucks out of the ashtray of your car to pay for something, that gets to be a little embarassing.
This is all part of the joy of being in debt. I wouldn’t max out the cards if that was the only way I could pay some of my bills, but for the time being, it’s less stressful to owe money to a faceless corporation then to my friend’s company, and in some cases even less expensive, although certainly not cheap. One of these days I should add up how much I’ve paid out in interest and late fees over the past four years. I wouldn’t be surprised if the average is about $10K per year. But when you can’t pay, you can’t pay, and so you end up paying more.