Too many people finance things in today's loan-happy world that we live in.
By signing up for financing or paying for a purchase with a credit card, you may think that item is more “affordable” due to the fact that you aren’t paying for it with money that you already have.
And, just because the monthly payment seems doable, it doesn’t mean that’s best for you. Debt can lead to stress, a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle, delayed retirement, and more.
No one wants to live like this, especially if there are other ways around it!
Just because other people may be buying stuff, that doesn't mean they can actually afford it and/or that it's a good decision for you to follow in their footsteps. I see that as a reasoning for why people go into debt all of the time. “Well, so-and-so just bought a new car, so I can too!”
Side note: Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. If you know how to take advantage of certain financing offers, then you may be able to come out ahead. However, if you know that you are not good at handling credit cards and debt, then it may be best to avoid them completely and to not finance the items that I have listed in this blog post. This article is targeted towards people who take on debt in order to “afford” and purchase the service/products listed below.
Financing things can lead to a never-ending debt cycle, where a person is constantly in debt and struggling to reach their financial goals.
Falling into debt over and over again can lead to insane amounts of stress, unhappiness, sadness, and feelings of hopelessness. No one wants to experience these feelings.
With all of that being said, some of the things people finance just blow my mind.
If you can't afford a purchase, you should really think about other options before taking on debt. There is almost always a better way to afford something than to take on high-interest rate debt.
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Here are six things that people finance that leave me speechless:
Yes, people finance gifts all of the time for holidays, birthdays, etc., and this is just not a good idea.
Gifts are not something where you want to take out a loan in order to “afford” it – that's not what giving a gift is about! It's about the thought, and you don't need a loan in order to show that you care about someone.
Dogs and cats.
Yes, some people may have to finance a pet for a medical reason (such as a guide dog) or something else, but what I'm talking about here is a person taking out a loan to purchase a regular family pet.
Don't get me wrong, family pets are great!
But, you don't need to go into thousands of dollars of debt to see that happiness.
There are many pet stores that sell puppies and kittens that let you take out pet financing on them in order to “afford” them.
Monthly payments are usually a few hundred dollars, and because so many people can't say no to a cute little puppy or kitten, they bring their new furry friend home, with a lot of debt.
However, this is a disaster because, sadly enough, too many people do not read the fine print in the pet financing terms. Also, when you consider that people are actually taking out a loan, it means they most likely can't afford the pet in the first place.
When researching the interest rates on pet loans, I found rates from around 36% to 150% interest on pet financing. That’s just crazy!
You can learn more about pet financing in Getting A Loan To Buy A Pet Is Ridiculous.
When we first moved to Colorado (before RV and boat life), we did some major furniture shopping.
The salesman kept saying that we could just finance everything so we wouldn’t have to feel the pain of spending that money all at once.
This is a horrible idea, and I cringed every time he mentioned it!
Furniture can be quite expensive, and it can be very easy to have a large bill after leaving a furniture store. No matter how enticing those furniture financing offers may be, please remember that you will eventually have to pay for the full cost, including interest. Too many shoppers get caught up when thinking about the monthly payments, but the full cost is what’s important.
I bring this true story up a lot, but it is one that still shocks me every time I think about it. I know someone who used their student loans to pay for vacations, and they even bought a few timeshares with their student loans.
This is a horrible idea!
This person isn’t alone as many people finance their honeymoons, family vacations, and more.
A vacation is supposed to be that – a vacation. I can’t imagine relaxing on my vacation knowing that I would be paying interest on it for months or years to come.
There are many ways to have an affordable vacation without any debt. I recommend checking out my post How To Save Money On Hotels And Go On More Vacations for more information.
An engagement ring, wedding, etc.
Getting married is a huge step in a person’s life and weddings can be a lot of fun, but it is not worth it to start out your new life with a ton debt. Wedding debt can cause arguments, stress, financial problems, and more.
Weddings can be expensive or affordable. A wedding can be done on any budget, no matter how low your budget may be. Remember, you can get married for just the cost of a marriage license!
Weddings can be great, but taking out a loan to afford a big wedding is something that most people end up regretting.
Many clothing stores now offer credit cards. They lure you in with a free item, $25 off, 5% off, or something else that is relatively small.
If you are not good with credit cards, please ignore these offers! That small reward is not worth the trouble you may find yourself in down the road.
Clothing never needs to be financed. If you’re in need of clothing, you can always visit a thrift store for the items you need. However, I don’t know of many instances where a person would be so desperate for clothing that they would need the debt that goes along with it.
What things do you find ridiculous to take out a loan for?
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