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Building Up Credit: There's Nothing Wrong With Using Credit Card -- For The Right Reasons.

Credit cards make buying things easy. The hard part is paying back the money.
But that doesn't necessarily always have to be the case. Believe it or not, those small, plastic sensations aren't all bad; they're just not meant to be used haphazardly or without a seriously good reason for it.
So when is it acceptable to use or not to use a credit card?
One of the bigger missteps when using credit cards is the population segment that can't help but whip out the card no matter how big or small of a purchase is being made. A huge mistake is using a credit card for buying meals at restaurants or even a quick trip to the grocery store.
Discover Cards aren't mean to buy Mentos or for that all-important cup of Coffee at Starbucks.

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Clothes are another pratfall in the world of credit cards. Fashion is incredibly cyclical and no top, bottom or accessory is worth paying for over the next five years -- especially considering it probably won't be in style by the time it is paid off.
The word on credit cards in terms of clothing isn't all bad news: major department stores typically offer discounts for not only opening a new account but also additionally percentages off when making any purchase. The safe bet is buying a pair of jeans or a jacket and then immediately paying it off when the bill comes within the next 30 days.
The same business practice applies for home improvement stores and events that are planned well ahead of time, such as weddings and vacations. Nothing kills the aura of the "I do" like knowing credit card debt will follow you on your honeymoon -- and potentially for years and years to come. That same trip to the beach every year should be one that you save up for starting the day you get back.
Vacation shouldn't be confused with unexpected trips or being whisked away out of town for emergency purposes or as part of a business trip. The latter reason often includes a reimbursement from your company so using a credit card feels more like a loan than debt: you use the credit card on the excursion and apply the reimbursement check directly to the pending balance.
Something unenviable like a death in the family often requires a quick decision and not everyone is financially ready to make those types of arrangements. In this case, plastic is quite the savior. Those aforementioned emergencies also can include unexpected medical issues or surgeries that go above and beyond a simple co-pay through your insurance company.
It certainly isn't illegal or out-and-out frowned upon for using a credit card for non-emergency type affairs but that practice needs to be executed with a plan of paying it back immediately in mind. MasterCard, Visa and department stores tempt you with enticing "no interest for 60 month" marketing and low APRs for a given amount of time.
The cognizant consumer takes full advantage of interest-free buying but does so knowing exactly when that promotional piece ends and thus the rates go from 0-30% in the blink of an eye. If that mentality doesn't work, there's always a time-honored mantra that never gets old: "If you can't afford to pay cash, then you can't afford it at all."

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