More than 70 percent of Americans have a general purpose credit card, according to the US Census Bureau. But if you don't have the cash in the bank to pay off your buys right away, a recent Yahoo! Finance article says there are some purchases you should avoid at all costs.
From a house to dentist bills, people put a lot of purchases on their credit cards, and no one is immune to the difficulties that can come with them.
Bill Staler, Director of Family Life Services, helped break down some items you should never break out your credit card for.
- Gambling Spree – "Our advice is always: If you're going to do something like that, set aside X amount of dollars, and once that's gone, don't go beyond that."
- Tuition Payments – "Your college tuition on a credit card is not in and of itself bad. Where we see problems is when it's the only way to pay it and it doesn't get fully repaid so credit card debt just dramatically increases."
- Lavish Wedding – "It's something that we recommend people plan for and set aside savings for and not go into debt to finance."
- Plastic Surgery – "I've never heard of that, but I wouldn't be surprised if some other people have done it.
- Other big purchases you should avoid paying with a credit card include tax bills and big vacations.
Credit Counselor Ruth Mata says these days you can't bank on future paychecks when making big luxury purchases.
"No job is secure right now, so [you have to ask], do you have enough money in a savings so that if you lost your job you could take care of the important things like your house, your living expenses, and make that payment," says Mata.
The good news is that at Family Life Services, they say they're seeing more and more people playing it safe.
"We've seen a general decline…in terms of the purchase of those big ticket items. I think the economic realities have set in, and people are being very careful, cautious about the purchases they're making," said Staler.
Taking the power out of the plastic and putting it back into the hands of consumers.