I got a bonus check in the mail yesterday. The 1% cash back on our credit card. When I get this, I don't at all think about the 100% I spent. That was then. The bonus check is now. It feels like free money.
But the check reminds me about credit cards in Sweden. My sense is they aren't as big here as in the US? Or that they're used more as payment cards where the balance is paid in full each month, as we do. Racking up huge credit card debt - I haven't heard this happen much here. Even when everything is so expensive.
When I moved to Sweden, I brought credit card balances with me. I was in my mid-twenties. It's maybe a sign of how Swedish I've become that credit cards and credit card debt for someone in his early and mid-twenties now sounds crazy.
A friend of mine said credit cards are a sign of American optimism. A belief that tomorrow will be better than today. I can buy into that. As long as I get cash back.