My new England Presbyterian Scottish background taught me that it is prudent to not buy something unless you can pay for it.  My grandparents were opposed to credit and to a lesser degree so were my parents. In addition, my maternal grandmother used to say, “we are too poor to buy cheap”.   The implication being buy quality but only when you can pay for it.

It was and is good advice and for the most part I have taken it. However, we are now living in an economic period were interest rates are nonexistent or extremely low. We see extended interest free payment plans or payment plans which offer very low rates.

So now my question is should I reconsider?   If one is to make a major purchase and is fortunate enough to have sufficient cash to pay for it, should one simply write a cheque or should one take advantage of low or nonexistent interest rates?  It is an academic question as I am not in purchase mode but one never knows.

I am not so naïve as to think there is really interest free financing. When that is offered, all one has to do is ask what discount is for cash and invariably there is a discount.

Now that I think about it I do need a new dishwasher. Should I pay you cash or should I take interest free financing?