What are You Willing to Charge?

What are You Willing to Charge?
Stefanie O'Connell
By: Stefanie O'Connell
Posted: March 28, 2014
Experts share their tips and advice daily on BadCredit.org, helping subprime consumers navigate the world of personal finance.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts to plan, save and budget, expenses arise that we don’t have the funds to cover and we are left relying on credit.

While occasionally (though rarely) this is a necessary reality, there are instances where using credit is not the right option.

1. Shopping sprees

Spending money you don’t have is not acceptable when it comes to day-to-day retail purchases.

You can justify the charges as much as you like (needing a new wardrobe for a job interview or having to charge a new washing machine), but racking up a bill you can’t pay off and chaining yourself to high interest payments is not a good habit to get into.

Always consider the alternative first – borrowing outfits from friends, checking out local thrift shops, hand washing your laundry, etc.

2. Major repairs

While a broken washing machine certainly doesn’t merit reliance on credit, major time-sensitive repairs like a leaky roof or a busted pipe might qualify.

If something is going to put you or those around you in danger or wind up costing you more money by not dealing with it immediately, you may just have to bite the bullet and charge it.

“Never charge something knowing

you don’t have the money.”

3. Vacations

Vacations are great for your mental, emotional and spiritual health, but they’re not worth putting your financial health in jeopardy.

There are other ways to take a break and decompress without spending money you don’t have.

4. Pets

If you’ve taken on a pet, hopefully you’ve accounted for all the expenses associated with their care and don’t have to worry about charging any of it.

If, however, your pet needs an unexpected surgery, you may be hit with an astronomical bill. If you can’t afford it, will you charge it?

It’s important to consider this before anything happens so you can develop a plan of action while you’re in a logical frame of mind rather than emotional state.

5. Medical emergencies

When it comes to your health or the health of your family, credit card use may be necessary to fund unforeseen emergencies.

Try to reduce the financial pain by looking into affordable care options and negotiating the hospital and doctor bills. You never want to charge something knowing you don’t have the money to pay it off.

Understanding when that kind of credit reliance is acceptable and unacceptable is a good start for making sure you stay out of any unnecessary financial trouble.

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