Updated November 27, 2013

10 Purchases You Should Never Put on Your College Credit Card

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For some, credit cards are like alcohol. They’re fun when you’re using them, but there’s always a hangover later. This is a problem for college students, as they pride themselves on having good hangover stories. But while they bounce back quickly from an all night bender, their banks accounts often don’t. And, just like drinking lots of exotic alcohol from random strangers makes a good story, so too does making impulse buys when the credit card bill is months away. Before someone you know goes back to college, make sure they know the Ten Purchases You Should Never Put on a Your College Credit Card.

10: New Furniture
If furniture were currency, it would be more worthless than a dollar from Zimbabwe. Just like a car, when you drive a couch off the lot of a furniture store, it instantly loses value and you look like an idiot pantomiming a steering wheel as your chaise lounge turns the corner. Craigslist has so much cheap and free furniture listed on the site, you’ll wonder why anyone pays for sofas that you’re just going to play video games and eat Doritos while you should be at class.

9: A Date

There’s nothing more dangerous than a guy looking to impress his date who only has a credit card in his wallet. After a couple of drinks and a few times of her batting her eyelashes, he’s suddenly buying surf and turf with $17 Mai Tais. Top that off with a “rose for the lady”, a picture of the happy couple and a two glasses--- Aw Hell, a bottle of champagne. That’ll be cold comfort when she tells him that she’s “just not that into him” after eating half the money he was supposed to save for text books and medicine. The whole point of college is to learn how to get dates with nothing more than an invite to the kegger and a knack for playing beer pong.

8: A Prank

Are you serious? If we actually had to tell you this one, just push your credit card in the paper shredder now and save yourself the police record. If your prank is so elaborate that you had to bust out the Visa for a gorilla suit, ten gallons of butter and a prosthetic arm, you are either Ashton Kutcher’s production assistant or an idiot. A true college prankster doesn’t leave a paper trail because you never know when your “cool” roommate might turn into an “angry litigant” after you’ve super glued a Halloween mask to his butt. True pranksters are like noble Native Americans, using every part of the dorm for a prank.

7: A Gun
Unless you’re attending the University of Somalia or the Community College of Afghanistan, buying a gun is not only stupid, it’s ridiculously expensive. After several well-publicized campus shootings, colleges are on edge about guns. And if you’re living on campus, the chances of you being able to safely stow your 9mm Glock in your room without one of your idiot dorm mates finding it and reenacting a scene from “The Matrix” are slim to none. And do you really want 18 and 19 year-old drunken college students handling a loaded weapon?

6: A Party

Financing a college party on your credit card is like bailing out Wall Street for the Housing Market Crash. It will be more expensive than they say and there’s no way the money is going to be used responsibly. Liquor is expensive and once the older, broker college kids that already maxed their credit cards out financing the last party get wind that you’re buying, you’ll be financing parties on campus for the next two months. (Or at least until you get a nasty call from the people at Mastercard.) Price of keg, $80. Bottles of whiskey, $140. Getting drunk on someone else’s dime? Priceless.

5: Your Girlfriend/Boyfriend
Until you’ve actually had a string of long, adult relationships, your girlfriend/boyfriend is nothing more than a high school crush that’s seen you in your underwear. The only difference between this and your ex back home is now you don’t have to sneak into the basement to make out while your parents are asleep. Consequently, if you find yourself paying your sweet baby’s phone bill, insurance co-pays and Cable TV bill, just make sure they’re not leveraging you to save their money for something else. Odds are, someone that Machiavellian probably has more than one sweet baby “helping them out”. That two-year phone contract won’t seem like such a great deal when you have to cut off your new ex’s phone and pay the cellphone company a fine for every month of early cancellation.

4: A Roadtrip

Roadtrips are essentially parties on the road, so for the same reasons, bring cash and tell your friends you “forgot” your credit card. Few college students can see the bright orange sign that vendors on the road see hanging over their heads, “Hi, I’m a college student who doesn’t check his credit card statement, please take advantage of me.” Even though you may be swiping your credit card or debit card in what appears to be a legitimate looking machine, vendors sometimes charge outrageous sums to tourists because they know by the time they get all the way home they’ll just pay the extra five dollar surcharge. Remember that cool guy selling turquoise jewelry by the road? No? Well, he remembers your credit card number and has decided to treat himself to a little “me” time on your dime.

3: Cash Advances

Taking a Cash Advance from a credit card company is like going to a very polite, but determined loan shark. The credit card company won’t break your legs, but they will continue to heap charges on to your bill until you’re maxed out and passed on to a collection agency. Like getting woken up by a nasty phone caller who implies you’re deadbeat at eight in the morning? Sure, it’s hilarious to duck the calls for a few months, but when you go to buy a house five years later and find your credit rating trashed, the joke will be on you. That “walkin’ around money” you advanced won’t seem like such a hot idea when you’re still living in your parents’ garage.

2: A Car

There’s a reason public transportation sucks. It’s cheap. And while buying, renting or (God forbid) leasing a car might seem like a good idea on paper -- He’s just not going to use it well. The whole point of a college campus is so that you can walk to class, walk to the kegger and do the walk of shame back to your room in the morning. Cars are expensive and charging one is going to max out your credit limit faster than a celebrity flunks out of rehab.

1: Strip Clubs
If this one came as a shock to you, how did you even get into college? Sure charging strippers is awesome at the time. You order a hot chick like you do a pizza, you feel like you’re Conan (the barbarian, not the talk show host). But the main problem is that your parents are probably going to seriously question the $300 charge. Just stick with cruising the campus and maybe you’ll hit the jackpot.

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