The way out of debt

They were all so tempting—those racks and racks of new dresses and pantsuits in the shopping mall. They seemed to cry out to be tried on, to be bought, to make her look terrific at the next beach party.

And, of course, her credit cards were so easy to use. Just hand one to the salesperson, sign the tab—and that was it! No one ever asked whether she was caught up in her payments on those cards (she definitely wasn't!). Or whether she owed back rent on her apartment (she definitely did). Or whether she'd paid for her vacation last summer (she hadn't). So she bought one more dress she didn't really need—and told herself she'd figure out how to pay for it later.

But deep down she knew that after a few days there'd be another outfit she'd want ... and another and another, until at the end of the month the bills would roll in again, bigger than ever.

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A candidate for good works
June 28, 1993

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