This may be a stupid question, but I will ask anyway. At what point should I stop using up my cash savings and start accumulating debt on a credit card? When I try to Google for advice about going into debt, I only get seem to find pages about getting out of it.
Some background: The last few years I've been dealing with a combination of job loss, mental health stuff (mostly depression), existential crisis, etc., that have left me rather unmotivated and directionless. I've mostly been living off my savings (starting with about $50k). To further stretch out my savings and try to shake things up, I moved out of the U.S. to Latin America and have been mooching off family members here for a few months.
Financial situation (all amounts USD):
- Current costs: I'm being charged $220/month to eat at home, $0 for rent/utilities, I have a $77/month cost for my storage unit in the states, plus whatever I spend on junk food and food out, going out, toiletries, transportation, replacing my worn-out shoes, medical expenses, non-bank ATM fees, etc. (a quick estimate looks like I've been doing ~$150/month on all that).
- Current assets: $2635 in checking; $6788 in a Vanguard bond fund from when I used to invest, but I've been trying not to use it just to see the lower amount in checking as motivation to get off my rear. I also have 150K frequent flyer miles to help me out w/ moving around, especially since I'm on tourist visas. (And I have ~$100K in a 401k, but I don't think that counts since I think I can only take from it as a loan?)
- Other stuff to know: I'm 35, I have no debt (and have never had CC debt, just student loans which are now paid off), no dependents or anything, I'm better than most at being frugal, I'm not really worried about my credit score (no plans to buy a house or whatever), and am not hankering to get back to the U.S. The family members, however, are getting rather annoyed with my lack of progress in life and seem to want me to either move out (in which case I might be able to rent a room around here for ~$150), or possibly pay them more to keep staying. My professional background (web design) should theoretically allow me to work remotely.
Yes, I do know that the correct answer is something like Get a #$%@&* job already*, but considering that I haven't made progress in quite a while (we're talking basic things like writing a resume), despite even quite a bit of therapy, I'm worried that I may run out of cash soon. And I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better put what I can on credit cards (my total limit is $12k), stop paying in full every month, and only doing a partial payment for a while. Given my state (mental and financial), is that totally idiotic? Should I have a cash-on-hand cut-off point? Is there something I'm not considering about CC debt that might scare me into being a responsible adult?
(*And who knows, maybe some answers in that vein might be helpful anyway, just like simply writing this question out is helping me get some more perspective on my situation.)