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View Poll Results: Are credit card charges the same as debt
Yes, current credit card charges are the same as debt 67 41.36%
No, current credit card charges are not the same 88 54.32%
Another poll? Really? Too busy to answer 7 4.32%
Voters: 162. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-27-2016, 12:24 PM   #121
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Technically yes, but in practice "no" if paid in full each month with no carrying/finance charges. If it is debt, to me everyone would have debt. Example, my monthly electric and water bills are based on usage playable only "after" I use it. Is that debt? Technically yes, but not really for practical purposes.
This is the right answer. Regardless of the correct accounting term (current debt) used to describe it, for most people that pay off bills every month it does not count as debt.

And it shouldn't, because there's no intent to borrow money over time here. And by time I mean more than the due date of the bill.
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Old 09-27-2016, 12:31 PM   #122
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However, I think the way some people are arguing, "the moment you swipe a card, you owe a debt" then you would also have to all your bills as debt as well. The moment you turn on that light switch you owe the electric company, the moment you own a house (even if paid off) you owe real estate taxes, etc. Unless you are prepaying for all those services, then no one could could ever be debt free by some of your definitions.
That is indeed the problem with their argument - if you're not either prepaying or paying with cash the instant you buy or consume anything then you must have debt and so very few can be truly debt-free. Everyone here answered the debt to asset poll incorrectly if they said they had no debt, even if they don't use CCs.

Problem is few see it that way regardless of the accounting principles involved, and that's because we're not running households under GAAP.

Ergo, CC bills paid off every month are not debt under commonly accepted usage. They are debt under the strict definition of it. Reasonable people can and will disagree but note that this poll is in favor of the No's.
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:06 PM   #123
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How's this? When I pay off my card, I pay the total outstanding balance, not just what made it into that month's statement. So at least once a month I'm credit card debt free! HA!
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:06 PM   #124
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As a public service.....cross posted on What Have You Read Recently?

Finished No Man's Lands and thoroughly enjoyed it..........even found what could be an oblique reference to those partaking in the Current Credit Card Charges thread, and which will undoubtedly clarify matters:

Quote:
Regarding Homer, the experts agree on these facts: Homer either did, or did not exist; he lived in the ninth century BC, unless it was the eighth, or tenth, or not at all; he wrote The Iliad and The Odyssey, or one of them, or neither, or perhaps other lost poems; either he actually wrote or he dictated, since he was either literate or illiterate; either he was blind or he was not; and he was born, if he ever was, in Smyrna - or in Argos, or Chios, or Colophon, or Salamis, or Rhodes, or Athens. That's the general agreement. If you go beyond that, people begin arguing.
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:26 PM   #125
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I consider credit card balances mid cycle as debt. However, from a practical perspective, it's not an issue. Hair splitting as others have said.

Plus, when I do my end of month net-worth/investment calculation, I do a mid-cycle online payment to clear my all my credit card balances before tallying up investments.
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Old 09-27-2016, 04:48 PM   #126
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Plus, when I do my end of month net-worth/investment calculation, I do a mid-cycle online payment to clear my all my credit card balances before tallying up investments.
Executing real-world transactions to get accuracy...now THAT is bowing to the GAAP gods!
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Old 09-27-2016, 05:04 PM   #127
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How's this? When I pay off my card, I pay the total outstanding balance, not just what made it into that month's statement. So at least once a month I'm credit card debt free! HA!
Most people would pay the statement balance and people on autopay pay the statement balance so they'll likely have charges between the statement date and when their payment is posted.

If you get online and pay the total outstanding balance then you are debt free for an instant unless some charges sneak in between when you pay and when your payment is posted.

We use our card for just about everything so it could happen, but not likely. I don't at all mind being in debt.
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Old 09-27-2016, 05:05 PM   #128
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Next Poll: At the breakfast table: Big-Endian or Small-Endian?
After decades of doing embedded programming - mostly on Motorola cores... Big Endian for sure.
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:00 PM   #129
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Definitely Big Endian, although with Java et al it really doesn't matter now.
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Old 09-27-2016, 10:23 PM   #130
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Definitely Big Endian, although with Java et al it really doesn't matter now.
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After decades of doing embedded programming - mostly on Motorola cores... Big Endian for sure.

Unless I'm totally missing the point, the clue "At the breakfast table" is a reference to Gulliver's Travels and the opening of boiled eggs, rather than computer memory.
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Old 09-27-2016, 11:11 PM   #131
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How's this? When I pay off my card, I pay the total outstanding balance, not just what made it into that month's statement. So at least once a month I'm credit card debt free! HA!
Just like I'm retired, except for those odd few days every couple of months or so that I work earning $$$.

Under GAAP rules, perhaps I'm not retired
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Old 09-28-2016, 07:52 AM   #132
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Unless I'm totally missing the point, the clue "At the breakfast table" is a reference to Gulliver's Travels and the opening of boiled eggs, rather than computer memory.
I never knew the term was derived from Gulliver's Travels. From wiki:


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In the discipline of computer architecture, the terms big-endian and little-endian are used to describe two possible ways of laying out bytes in memory. The terms derive from one of the satirical conflicts in the book, in which two religious sects of Lilliputians are divided between those who crack open their soft-boiled eggs from the little end, and those who use the big end.
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Old 09-28-2016, 08:06 AM   #133
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I never knew the term was derived from Gulliver's Travels.
Which is why, answering 2017ish's comment on 'breakfast', I responded as I did on post #111 of this thread.
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Old 09-28-2016, 10:08 AM   #134
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For practical purposes, CC charges, used for monthly bills, daily purchases, etc., then paid in full each month, are not debt. I get cash back, air miles, and convenience, plus some minuscule "float", so who is in debt to whom? 😎
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Old 09-28-2016, 10:36 AM   #135
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That is indeed the problem with their argument - if you're not either prepaying or paying with cash the instant you buy or consume anything then you must have debt and so very few can be truly debt-free. Everyone here answered the debt to asset poll incorrectly if they said they had no debt, even if they don't use CCs.

Problem is few see it that way regardless of the accounting principles involved, and that's because we're not running households under GAAP.

Ergo, CC bills paid off every month are not debt under commonly accepted usage. They are debt under the strict definition of it. Reasonable people can and will disagree but note that this poll is in favor of the No's.
I agree. As long as I pay off the billed amount in full by its due date, whether it is a CC bill or a utility bill or something similar, I am debt-free. The billing entities choose to bill me when they do and set up the due dates to avoid any penalties or interest charges. I am just playing by their rules. I don't consider the short amount of time between the use of their money or services prior to paying them to be debt. Also, some monthly services bill me in advance of using them (i.e. phone company's monthly fee for basic service) , so is that "anti-debt?"
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Old 09-28-2016, 11:02 AM   #136
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I never knew the term was derived from Gulliver's Travels. From wiki:

...
-ERD50
To close the circle, I had no idea of the computer architecture borrowing of the term until the past year or so! Thought it might be reciprocal, hence the "at the breakfast table."
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Old 09-28-2016, 11:21 AM   #137
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Great way to spend time. Trying to classify an entry the classification of which clearly depends on what purpose you have in mind, and in any case has zero importance unless you are considering bankruptcy or perhaps becoming a factor.
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Old 09-28-2016, 11:33 AM   #138
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We are always in debt, all the time. It is just that the debt has not been billed yet.
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Old 09-28-2016, 11:46 AM   #139
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It's Schrodinger's cat! It's debt and not debt until we "observe" it - by paying the bill before any interest is due!

There, I'm glad I solved that for all time.
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Old 09-28-2016, 11:55 AM   #140
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Just when I think Bogleheads has the most anal discussions, you people make me reconsider.



Here's a favorite saying - "A difference which makes no difference is no difference". Make of it what you will. I'm sure both sides can use it.


They need to hang out with "Dumb people" more like I have to. That will change the discussions quickly. I actually heard a person say yesterday she was not voting for "Hillary" next year because of her health concerns. If she couldnt be president, Obama gets to serve another 4 years and that person did not want that to happen... What can you say....And so I didnt .....
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