The pop song goes ‘Plastic, it’s fantastic’, but that is not necessarily a good thing when it comes to your flexible friend!
Just like the Barbie they sing about, this seemingly attractive piece of synthetic material can simply lure many into a luxury-filled lifestyle unsustainable in real life.
Yes, credit cards are handy to avoid carrying around bundles of cash, but many people end up buying a hell of a lot of things they would happily do without if it wasn’t so easy – and tempting – to swipe away.
At least with cash it’s – well hopefully – yours to spend, and not borrowed credit that can lead to an ever-slippery in-the red slope at the end of the month.
However, those adamant that they want to hang on to their plastic buddy should at least be wise with the swiping. And remember the golden rules of when NOT to use a credit card.
A night on the town
When socialising it is best to carry sufficient cash and leave the cards at home as it is all-too-easy to get carried away with spending when out socialising. All too often a quiet evening can turn into an extravagant ‘Oscar’ party as personal generosity heightens with every drink!
But, remember, George Clooney will not be around to pick up the bill and the following morning there will be a whopping credit card bill to add to the sore head.
To the limit
If near the limit of a personal credit card, then it’s probable that common sense should prevail with clear thinking and planning put into place to pay the borrowed money back to the bank.
Even if there’s a couple of hundred to spare before hitting the limit, the chances are spending the additional money will lead to greater long-term hardships.
So pack the card back into the wallet or purse and walk away.
When impulse strikes
This easily happens during the sale seasons. So many of us get an urge to burn plastic just because the item says 50 per
cent off. But the chances are that this sudden need to buy will quickly lose its appeal.
So, as a rule of thumb, when the temptation for a big impulse buy strikes, always walk away and wait at least 24 hours before going back to hand over the credit card.