Credit Repair and Apps: Three Questions

Technology is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it provides us with connection—access to information 24/7. On the other hand, it’s sensory overload, inundating us with media and leading us to make some questionable decisions with our money. I’m referring, of course, to monetized apps. The concept of paying money for virtual goods is relatively new and surprisingly effective. A Business Insider reporter recently confessed her addiction to Candy Crush Saga, a popular app that cost her $127 in a single week. When money is tight and apps are accessible, it’s important to examine your credit repair motivations. Ask yourself the following questions. Your answers could help you gain a new perspective.

Before downloading an app, ask:

Is it worth it?

Let’s attempt to put a price on entertainment value. Would you spend $100 a week on entertainment? How about $300 or $500? The average person would say no to the latter, but the invention of monetized apps leads others to a different conclusion. Let’s put it another way. $100 spent on Candy Crush Saga per week could have also bought:

Five-to-seven days’ worth of groceries
12.5 matinee movie tickets
Two months of electricity
25 gallons of gas
Two-to-three pairs of adult shoes

You get the idea. $100 is a lot of money, regardless of how it’s spent. This notion is especially true if you are focused on credit repair. $100 is better used in your savings account, paying down debt, or investing in your retirement plan. Why spend good money on intangible items? Your tangible life is more important.

Do my kids have access?

A recent article detailed a parent’s outrage when she received a phone bill of over $1,000. The reason? Her kids had been playing “Smurf Village” with her iPhone, buying bundles of “Smurfberries” with her password in order to advance in the game.

Your kids may not understand the concept of paying real money for virtual goods, so it’s important to limit their access to apps that could land you in financial trouble. Update your security settings and carefully monitor your family’s phone usage.

Is there a free alternative?

Even if an app is “free,” are you still paying for it? Consider the amount of data you’re using to access Facebook on your phone. Unless your plan is unlimited, you’re likely paying a hefty bill each month. Now consider the free alternatives. A computer with free wifi is the economical choice. If you’re struggling to overcome a costly gaming habit, and offer plenty of free games that won’t affect your credit repair goals.

The bottom line:

Technology is fun and even useful, but it should never infringe upon your credit repair goals. Take stock of your choices and be accountable. Don’t let an app ruin your bank account.