The question I'm asking today isn't whether or not we should have stuff, it's whether or not we should buy something if we can afford the payment.Our society has taught us that we can have anything we want right when we want it. If you don’t believe me, just check out McDonald’s slogan – What you want is what you get. And, Burger King has also jumped on the bandwagon with Your Way, Right Away.

The question I’m asking today isn’t whether or not we should have stuff, it’s whether or not we should buy something if we can afford the payment.

With the exception of a home purchase, for me the answer is very simple – no. Now, before you tune me out or click off of the page, please hear me out.

The Tale of My Timeshare

Years ago my first husband and I bought a timeshare together (whether or not you should buy a timeshare is definitely a post for another day). Before our purchase, we looked at our finances to see if we could make it work. We did the math, moved a few things around and realized we could afford the payment. So, we signed on the dotted line.

Fast forward not even a year later when he decided that there were greener pastures and left me for his girlfriend. (You can read more of my story here.) Not only was my world rocked emotionally, but it was financially too. Now we had this crazy timeshare and neither of us wanted it, nor wanted to pay for it.

What if we had paid cash?


Getting the Axe

My friends decided to re-decorate their living room. They went to the furniture store, picked out a few pieces that they couldn’t live without and signed on the dotted line. They had no problem making their payments until a few months later when they were let go from their job. Suddenly their furniture payment wasn’t as important as their house payment, or even food on the table.

What if they had paid cash?

Scenarios like the two above happen every day. We tell ourselves that we need a certain item (stuff) and then figure out how we can get it right now. While we currently have the money to make the payments, what happens if tragedy strikes? What happens if we’re no longer able to pay our bills and stuck with payments for our stuff?

Years ago, had I been smart enough not to buy a timeshare, I would have saved myself tons of hassle and heartache. I wouldn’t have been stressed about how I was going to make the payment during an already difficult situation.

And, while I haven’t asked them, I’m sure my friends would agree that not having a furniture payment would have lessened their stress while looking for a job.


What if we saved up and paid cash for our stuff?

It may sound crazy, but I think that our lives are less stressful when we pay cash for our stuff. Proverbs 22:7 even says, “…the borrower is slave to the lender.” If we would learn to pay cash for our stuff, if tragedy strikes, we wouldn’t have to worry about payments.

I don’t have any problem with anyone having stuff. In fact, if you looked around our house, you’d see that Trent and I have plenty of our own. Simply put, I want you to learn from my mistake and get your stuff the smart way – by paying cash. Yes, I’m aware that you won’t be able to get it right now, but having to wait will make you appreciate that special item even more!

What are your thoughts? Do you think we should buy it if we can afford the payment?

Thrifty T

Photo credit: Top image, middle image, bottom image