November 30th, 2011

Sound Advice from Unlikely Sources: Twilight and Credit Cards

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twilight

I hate Twilight as much as the next non-tween, but I’m going to glean every last bit of knowledge from it. Did you know that “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1” is one of the best sources for credit card advice? It’s true! (Kinda. Also, contains spoilers. Not that you can spoil what’s already terrible.)

1. Make people earn your loyalty.

Whiny human Bella Swan is pregnant with a half vampire baby. To protect her, Jacob (a moody werewolf) splits off from his wolf pack. Sam, the leader of the original pack, made a mistake by not offering Jacob some kind of retention bonus to get him to stay. Luckily, credit card companies are smarter than werewolves. If you’re thinking of closing a credit card, call up customer service and try to negotiate a lower interest rate, higher credit limit, or more bonuses. You’ll often get extra miles or points just for asking. Plus, you can always howl at them if it doesn’t work.

2. Read the warning signs.

Everyone tells Bella she’s behaving irrationally when she wants to get married and vampirized at 18. If she would have listened, an entire boring book would have been averted. You can avoid your own mistakes by recognizing moments when you behave irrationally. Credit cards, for example, create a feeling of euphoria. Snap yourself out of those feelings of charge-lust by having your credit card send you email or text alerts when you reach your spending limit.

3. Know your weaknesses.

Bella is bad at many, many things. She’s clumsy, so much so that she drops a styrofoam cup of blood and manages to break her back and go into labor. She does survive though, thanks to her contingency plan of becoming a vampire.

Though you can’t fix everything by becoming a vampire, you can take several steps to prevent disaster. If you’re afraid you might forget to pay a credit card bill, you can set up reminders and automatic payments. ReadyForZero is a great site to help remind you to pay make your payments. Plus, start saving now to create an emergency buffer, possibly in a high-interest online savings account like ING Direct. That way you won’t have to carry a balance and pay high interest rates on your credit card if you need to buy a full nursery set for your rapidly-gestating vampire baby. You know. In case it comes up.

Credit cards, like vampires, have their good and bad sides. There are some great perks like cash back and being immortal, and some big downsides like high interest rates and an unshakable blood addiction. Take mine and Stephenie Meyer’s advice to maximize the good and manage the bad.

Blood is thicker than water. Bella is thicker than both.

Ezra Fox, Vampire Credit Advisor

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