Much like owning your own mug at work or actually washing your colours and whites separately, owning a credit card is a well-established convention of adulthood.
In many instances, the transition is clear – white shirts turning pink is a good sign you need to wash like an adult. In others, such as when to sign up for your first credit card, such as those offered by Virgin Money, there’s not quite such as obvious light-bulb moment.
Here are a few times you might consider leaping into adulthood (don’t worry, this is one of the fun ones):
Your first big purchase
Sooner or later you’ll need to splash out on something you hadn’t been able to save for – a washing machine, a fridge or even a BBQ (in Australia, these are practically a necessity anyway). A credit card will make this purchase simple and allow you to pay off the cost over time. But remember, unless you pay it back in any interest-free periods, you’ll be paying interest on the purchase price.
It’s more than likely that big purchase will be just the first of many, so a credit card may be able to help out with the following shopping sprees as well.
An overseas adventure
There are a couple of great reasons to grab a card for your overseas trip. For one, it’s a great thing to hold on to if you ever get in to a spot of bother and need cash in a jiffy. It may be preferable to carrying wads of cash around.
As you make your purchases leading up to the trip, you can pick up all the paraphernalia you need (wheelie bag, top-of-the-line camera, top-of-the-line-underwater camera, Polaroid camera and a phone you’ll use as your camera anyway) with your credit card and earn points if your card offers a reward program.
When you start saving (or think about saving) for a home
While you can’t put a home on your credit card, you can use a credit card to help you on your path to the Australian home-ownership dream.
Using your credit card sensibly (that BBQ definitely still counts) in the lead up to making a deposit on a home can help you create a credit card rating that your bank can use as a measure of your trustworthiness. With this, they will have more information about your financial past so they can estimate how well you will handle a mortgage when it comes time to sign on the dotted line.
When you want to track your spending
There’s nothing like earning a grown up’s paycheck that makes you wonder where all your income disappears to. As the saying goes: The more you earn, the more you spend.
So when that first paycheck comes rolling in, then steadily rolling out again, a credit card can be a great way to track where it goes. Every month you can have a look at your spends – is it food? Clothes? Online shopping purchases made at 1am? Whatever it is, having a monthly report on your finances might help you figure out a budget with your new found financial freedoms.
Virgin Money offer a range of credit cards which may suit your needs. When looking at these products, make sure to read the terms and conditions before making a decision
When do you think you will get your first credit card – or do you already have one?