My husband taught me this simple but powerful lesson when we first met.
Luiz has never had credit card debt. His father was a gambler by 'profession' so Luiz learned hard lessons about money from an early age.
Paying off my student loans was his mantra to me when he discovered I owed thousands.
Luiz and I have not had debt for more than 10 years.
Now we are hearing that the banks (aka: thieves) and stores in Brazil are "offering" such easy credit that more than 50% of Brazilian families struggle with debt. It seems easy to buy that plasma TV, or that first car, or those Nike sport shoes. But the deception is "just R$35 a month for six months" but if you were to pay in cash it would be just R$175. Sounds good, but you wind up paying R$35 more... [for example - more, obviously, for cars and electronics]. Even the credit card companies cooperate by automatically slicing your total purchace into pieces and not charging you at once, but rather, in monthly installments.
I am glad the growth of the economy in Brazil has helped so many people rise out of destitute poverty -- but to then get saddled with debt, well, that's another struggle.
Just keep repeating to yourself: "Don't put your hand where your arm cannot reach!"