5 things you didn’t know are debt pitfalls
Everyone knows things like student loans, maxed-out credit cards and poor investment decisions can lead to debt. However, there are a few life events that seem innocent enough — until they sneak up on you and drag you into debt.
Take note, and be wary of the following.
Sure, planning and hosting a wedding can be a money pit. But it’s not uncommon for people to dip into debt just from attending a wedding.
So much goes into being a wedding guest aside from just buying a gift and taking advantage of the open bar. And if you’re part of the wedding party, the costs can skyrocket. Being a groomsman or bridesmaid often involves major spending, including forking over money for a dress or tux, shoes and, of course, pre-wedding entertainment.
More than half of us do it. If you’re Elizabeth Taylor, you do it multiple times. Here’s kind of what it’s like:
You sell all your assets, and get the money in $50 bills. Then, you go to a hotel on a busy street, and you and your spouse open two windows and see who can throw the most money out the fastest.
But, let’s say your ex is ordered to pay back debts on the fancy joint black card and fails to do so. If your name is also on the agreement, a creditor might come after you, too.
Before you pull an Elizabeth Taylor, pay off as many debts as possible before filing for a divorce.
When you get sick, you usually don’t think about the cost right away. You focus on getting treated, and pray our scary WebMD diagnosis is totally wrong.
Many doctors these days take credit cards. If you think it’s for convenience, think again. Because of your credit card’s interest rate, this translates into more debt for you — especially if you don’t pay your credit card bills on time.
But, at least you can use the money you spend at the doctor’s office for credit card airline miles.
If you thought the cost of living is high, try dying (actually don’t, please). The cost of funerals is also high. In fact, the average cost of a traditional funeral in North America is between $7,000 and $10,000, according to Parting.com.
Funerals that aren’t pre-paid can often lead to financial debt and hardship to the family left behind. And it’s hard to pay off any debt you’ve accrued if you arrange a funeral you can’t afford.
It’s a touchy subject, and no one wants to think about it. But, it’s important to face the facts that funerals will burn a small hole in your wallet.
Say you want to take up scuba diving. Sounds fun, right? But first, you need to buy your gear, sign up for lessons, get yourself to a body of water and before you know it, you’ve spent a couple thousand dollars.
Hobbies should be fun, not put you in debt. If your new hobby requires you to buy pricey equipment or sign up for classes you can’t afford, hold off until you’ve got enough money. In the meantime, try inexpensive and free hobbies, such as yoga classes, hiking or watching hilarious cat videos on YouTube.