Be Honest. There have been times when you’ve bought something truly crazy with your credit cards. That set of Walking Dead garden gnomes? Yeah, that. It’s crazy what people purchase with their plastic, but there’s nuts, and then there’s just plain silly. You might recognize yourself in the following list, but we’re pretty certain some of them might take you by surprise.
1. Celebrity Appearances (Yes, People Do That)
If your credit limit is high enough you could hire any number of A-list celebrities to visit, appear at your party, or even perform. According to allamericanspeakers.com, you could have your choice of some not-so-A-listers, and some full-on famous people. Prices start at $5,000 for an appearance if you don’t mind paying (potentially) thousands of dollars in interest.
2. A New Vehicle (Or Even an Old One)
This is something you should never put on a credit card. According to this little infographic courtesy of Edmunds.com , a new car depreciates as much as 9% the minute you drive it off the lot. That’s thousands in just a few second – on top of the thousands you might pay in fees. We love this handy-dandy calculator from Bankrate that will help you figure out how long it will take you to pay off your credit card debt.
3. Anything AS SEEN ON TV
Let’s face it, the whole point to an infomercial is to get you to buy something you don’t need. Why add insult to injury by paying extra money in interest for the privilege?
4. Extended warranties on Electronics
Classic impulse buy. Did you know approximately 40% of purchases are impulse buys? There’s a reason why clever retailers train their sales associates to hard sell warranties that are almost always useless in the long run. (MediaScope, Inc)
5. Anything at a sporting event
So you purchased a $10 cup of beer, a $100 jersey, and spent $50 on food that would cost $10 at the grocery store – why the heck aren’t you using cash? Or do you like paying through the nose?
6. Last Month’s New iPhone
You do realize that whenever you buy a new iPhone, Windows tablet, or Android something, it will automatically become outdated 3.9 seconds after you leave the store?
You should never – one again, we will repeat, NEVER – put anything casino related on a credit card. Not only will you be paying the house a large sum in losses, you’ll be paying your credit card company too.
8. Cosmetic surgery
Do you really need to look younger that badly? Worse you’ll be paying credit card fees for months to come. But just in case you’re still thinking about it, we offer this little cache of celebrity surgery disaster photos for your perusal. http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/celebrity-plastic-surgery-disasters/
9. Adult entertainment
You heard us right. We don’t need to say anymore.
Even the IRS charges less than most credit card companies. Don’t be tempted to take out a cash advance if you find yourself without money for the tax man.
11. Games for your smartphone
If you have ADHD, this is a particularly horrible thing to put on a credit card. You know you’re going to get tired of that game before the bill for you purchase comes in the mail. Come on. Admit it.
12. Engagement ring
If you like it, you should be able to afford to put a ring on it without plastic. Actually, this applies to anything jewelry. The Internet is rife with stories about big name jewelry stores and their new credit cards, like Jared Credit Card. The terms are terrible and you could end up paying for that ring forever if you’re not careful.
13. Anything from Skymall
Well, okay, some of the items profiled are pretty cool. I mean, who wouldn’t want a lighted zipline? But does your pooch really need its own covered chaise lounge? Unless you’re flying first class with nothing to do and money to burn, resist the urge to indulge in these impulse buys while strapped to a seat.
14. Footwear with wheels:
You’ll be using your credit card to pay off more than your shoes. A hospital bill comes next.
15. Lottery tickets
Everyone’s heard the saying: You have a better chance of being struck by lightning than winning the lottery. Webmath.com even offers a handy-dandy little calculator geared toward calculating your actual odds. Go on, try it. We guarantee you’ll never use your credit card to purchase lottery tickets again. Heck, you might not purchase anything at all.
16. Paying off a credit card with yet another credit card
There’s a difference between being smart and being silly. Some people pay one credit card with another to reap the rewards. It’s called credit card churning, and is only a good idea if you’re smart, excellent with credit, and super-organized. But if all you’re doing is paying off one debt with another, and not to take advantage of a balance transfer card to pay off your debt, rethink what you’re doing.
Look, we’ve all been in a position where we’re short on cash. It’s easy to get sucked in by the lure of easy money. But remember, you’re not just buying an item, you’re buying credit card interest, too. That’s a double dip most of us could live without. Resist the urge.
Image Credits: PSD Graphics
Pamela is the author of thirty-eight romance novels with more coming out every year. She’s best known for her NASCAR romance novels, but writes non-fiction, too. Pamela’s a regular columnist for the American Quarter Horse “Journal” and writes for SuperMoney.com where she shares her personal finance tips on how to thrive in this economy.