Do you use a credit card?
I had many years of not using one out of fear that I would overspend with it and get myself into all sorts of bother (I am great with money now but I used to be rather impulsive in my younger years.)
These days I see credit cards as friends rather than enemies, but only because I now know how to use them sensibly.
So what do I consider the benefits of credit cards?
1) Unexpected, sudden expenses
Sometimes it really helps in life to have access to immediate cash. Not when you want to buy that amazing dress or book a last minute holiday to some place exotic but when maybe you need to get somewhere fast and just don’t have the money? I’ve had to pay for a funeral on a credit card before 🙁 at the other end of the scale there was an absolute bargain deal of a car I wanted and my card was the best way to secure it so it works both ways..happy and sad. Most importantly it works in an emergency you just need to be sure you can pay it back .
If you lose everything whilst travelling but have your credit card…well you know you’ll get through and have speedy access to money The security of having financial back up is physically and psychologically invaluable at such times.
3) Spreading the cost
You can spread the cost of expensive items and make regular monthly payments when you use a credit card. On some you can pay zero or low % for fixed periods of time (have a look at the platinum card over at TSB which gives you 0% interest for 20 months on balance transfers. I need to buy a new computer and this might be a really good option for me.
4) Consumer protection
A credit card protects you more than a debit card. If you but some thing between £100 and £60,260 and things go wrong (faulty/doesn’t show up) you can claim monies back for you card provider. This is not the same with a debit card.
Credit cards are a form of borrowing and you can get into debt with them so I would strongly advise you only use them if you KNOW you can and will make adequate and sensible repayments. If you are impulsive and hasty shopper don’t use them!
And remember…saving up for what you want is always a good thing!