7 Expenses You Should Never Put On A Credit Card
These one-off expenses will send you into serious debt.
Having a credit card requires restraint, responsibility, and it should be used in moderation. People get into credit card debt for a lot of different reasons. The goal is to use credit efficiently and effectively so you can gain rewards and build your credit history. I have compiled a list of expenses that you should never put on a credit card.
- College Tuition – College tuition is usually a massive expense, therefore it’s better to use federal student loans because they offer lower interest rates and more flexibility when it’s time for repayment. You only want to charge purchases on your credit card that you can pay off within three months or less. Otherwise, you will end up paying too much in interest.
- Vacations – If you front the money for your friends who said they would go on a Bahama cruise with you and then last minute, one or two of them cancels, that will leave you with a HIGH credit card bill and a lot of financial stress. It’s best to collect everyone’s money in advance via PayPal, check, or money order. This way you will have a record of the transaction and you won’t have to pay the expense upfront. It’s best to get everyone’s money BEFORE you book the trip. Even with friends, never allow someone to tell you “oh, I’ll pay you back later.” It’s too risky for your psyche and bank account.
- Gambling – Yes, you can easily get a cash advance loan through one of your credit cards for gambling purposes, but the experts at Miss Money Bee strongly discourage it. Unfortunately, most casinos make it so easy for people to pull cash straight from their credit cards. Taking out $2,000 against your credit card because you want to gamble is NOT OK. The chances of you winning are very low. So instead of throwing your money away, and leaving you with interest to pay back on that loan, stay away from the casinos.
- Cosmetic surgery — Dental and cosmetic surgeries, typically referred to as plastic or elective surgery, can be expensive. For that reason, cosmetic surgery offices are notorious for offering finance options to pay for expensive cosmetic procedures like breast augmentation or dental plasty. If you don’t have the money for elective surgery, my best advice would be NOT to do it. Medical credit cards and loans are extremely popular, but if you make just ONE late payment on that bill, the creditor will go back and charge you interest from the first day of your financing. Don’t fall into debt traps for a superficial or impulsive reason. Love yourself for who you are and stay away from charging plastic surgery on a credit card!
- Pets – It’s amazing how expensive pets can be. Many designer doggies are adorable and are the perfect size for a purse, but many can start at $300 and cost over $1,000. The most expensive dog in America, the Tibetian Mastiff ,can cost as much as $35,000. Although they are beautiful animals, it doesn’t make much sense to purchase a pet with your credit card. It may take you the dog’s lifetime to pay off the credit card. Consider going to the pound or an animal shelter to adopt a cute loving dog or cat for FREE. You will not only be saving yourself a ton of money but you will have also given a sweet animal a happy and safe home. Also, once you get a pet, remember to be frugal about their food and maintenance.
- Old debt – Old debt is sometimes referred to as zombie debt. This is debt that you haven’t paid off and has been sold by your original creditor to a collection agency. Although it is important to pay-off zombie debt to get your credit score in tip-top shape, it’s crazy and makes NO SENSE to pay-off old debt with a credit card. That will only create new credit card debt and will put you right back in the same position that you started in.
- Weddings – Catering, flowers, venue, and attire for a wedding can cost a huge chunk of cash. A wedding lasts for a day and your don’t want to spend the first year or two of your marriage paying for your spending splurge. Don’t get caught up in having a lavish wedding if you can’t afford it, budget according to what you can pay-off within four to six months.
About the Author: Samantha Savory is a 20-something-year-old recent communications graduate whose mission is to financially succeed and thrive in this economy. She writes about personal finance and anything related to shopping and saving money.