The problem with new furniture is that it is outrageously expensive. My husband and I are going through a fairly major renovation of our new home; and that includes clearing the property the original builder never cleared – over an acre worth – and redoing the cabinets and countertops in the kitchen and three bathrooms, the floors, the fireplace and a few other minor things around the house.
One of the more ‘minor’ issues is the fact that our furniture has not withstood the test of time, and it’s time for something else. With four kids, we need something a little bigger and a little more family friendly, and that meant heading out over the weekend and buying a huge leather sectional with reclining seats, a chaise lounge and cup holders. Yes, cup holders. My life is complete.
It also meant spending approximately $3,416.79. That’s right; on one couch. I almost had a heart attack when I realize that was the price for just the couch and not the entire set. Then realize that it is a 7 piece sectional, it’s gorgeous leather and it is power. That means it’s expensive. The only reason I did not walk out of there is the fact that there is a lifetime warranty on it, and that’s what we need with four kids. Either way, though, I did not like writing that check. No, I did not.
It was hilarious to me that the salesperson was so adamant that she felt we should finance the couch. She kept telling us that we didn’t have to put out that kind of cash since we can have interest free financing until 2018 on the couch and still have our money in the bank. We declined, not being the kind of people who like to finance small purchases.
We’d rather just wait to buy things when we can afford to pay cash, and that’s just our opinion. But at the end of the day, it’s not just us that feel that financing furniture is one of the worst ideas – and we’ll tell you why.
Okay, so you have no interest. But you miss just one payment – just one – and that interest spikes so high it will take you a dozen years to pay off that couch – even though you won’t have it that long, and we all know that is a fact. Let’s be serious here. There is no reason it’s okay to finance furniture when you could just save up and pay cash. Even if you don’t mean to miss a payment, you cannot help certain situations. Say that you stick the payment in the mail 10 days before it’s due, and the weather is so bad that the mail trucks in your neighborhood are stopped for days, or the letter is lost. The furniture store credit card company doesn’t care; your payment was late and you are now paying 30% interest on that couch.
Okay, so when I spent as much as I did on a couch this weekend, I was shocked and a little horrified. But had I been financing, I probably would have bought more. I mean, I don’t love the idea of spending what I did on furniture, but I’d never shell out $10,000 cash for new furniture. However, financing it, I might have. I might have added a new bedroom set to the list since we’ve had ours for five years now. I might have added so many things because I knew that it would seem so much cheaper paying a little bit each month for the next several years than it does paying it all at once. It’s just something to think about.
Okay, if this is not enough of a reason not to finance your furniture, what is? I mean, it’s consumer debt that does not increase in value. You can turn around tomorrow and sell your brand new furniture for cash and not get anywhere near what you paid for it. It just does not make sense to spend this kind of money on furniture and then finance it. Debt is not a good idea in any situation, and on furniture it’s even worse.
So you want to buy a house. But you have two car payments, one income and $15,000 in student loans, credit card debt and furniture debt. Your mortgage company tells you that you have too much debt according to your debt-to-income ratio. College, well, you had to go. But you did not have to spend $20,000 furnishing your rental house over the course of the past few years. But you did; and now you’re suffering. You cannot afford your dream house because you are paying off furniture that you financed who even knows how long ago. That’s a tough pill to swallow for just about anyone, and there is nothing you can do about it but pay it off at this point.
I’ll go ahead and end it on this note. It’s not responsible to finance every single thing you purchase. If you plan on paying off your purchase in full at the end of the month, go ahead. But even then it’s not the best idea to make a purchase by applying for credit, affecting your credit score and adding to your debt. Go ahead and pay cash; it’s responsible. Besides, there is something special about being able to pay cash for your furniture. It makes you feel really good; as though you’ve made it in life. There was a feel of pride I had when I handed over that kind of money this weekend to pay for my new furniture, and I appreciated it. It made me feel like an adult, a responsible adult who makes good decisions and does things the way I should do them. I was proud of myself, and I don’t have any debt with the furniture store.