5 Ways to use your Money to Ruin your Relationships

  1. Hide spending, income or debt from your significant other
  2. Give the kids everything they want or might want someday
  3. Co-sign a loan for anyone you care about
  4. Loan money to someone you love
  5. Wait to be happy until– (you’re out of debt, you’ve saved enough, you make more etc.)

Even Snake Charmers get Bit

I’m a Dave Ramsey follower, a fan, a true believer. I have no doubt that his simple personal financial process changes lives. I know it has changed mine.

It works whether you make 24K or 240K a year. It works if you are deep in credit card debt or if you’ve never borrowed a dime.

But even I can occasionally get the But Dave’s. If you’ve ever listened to his radio show, you’ve heard the But Dave’s. People call in and say I get the process and I agree – BUT. They think their situation, intelligence or self-control is so different than everyone else’s; they should be given a pass on some Dave principal.

One of the most common But Dave questions involves the use of credit cards. Dave is very clear–you should NEVER use a credit card. He refers to credit cards as snakes and warns if you play with snakes you’re going to get bit.

But Dave, I pay it off every month.

This is where I was when we started Dave’s program. We had debt but not credit card debt. I was however, always living on next month’s paycheck. I lived on my American Express, put most of my recurring bills on it and then sent them a huge piece of my paycheck the 1st of every month.

Getting off this cycle was not easy but it helped a lot.

Once I quit using the card, I had control again of my check. I could plan what to do with the money rather than react to what I had already done.

I spent less. It’s a proven fact you spend more when using a credit card.

While I quit using my cards for personal use, I continued using my American Express for reimbursable business expenses. From software, to continuing education classes for the employees, to computers and client gifts; as a key decision maker at a very busy insurance agency, my card got used a lot. It was convenient, it was easy, and above all it was stupid.

When the owners of the agency and I agreed to part ways, it was not easy or comfortable. They were angry and insulted that I had refused their new contract and yet, they asked me to stay through the end of the year. I agreed not wanting to hurt the agency or the employees. For six weeks, our relationship deteriorated. On my last day, having completed all I promised, I left without  a reimbursement check.

My reimbursement was paid. But it wasn’t be until my blood pressure maxed out and the “boys” demonstrated to their own satisfaction their absolute power.

What did I learn?

It is stupid, expensive, risky and unnecessary to use credit cards. If you can’t pay for it, wait until you can.

It is light-years beyond stupid to use your credit card for someone else’s stuff. If your employer can’t find a way to pay for their own stuff AND your travel expense without using your credit – start looking for a new job.