I recently got a new job that requires monthly expenses of almost $5,000 that are reimbursed. I can’t swing that kind of money right now, and my company told me to get a credit card to cover things. I’m trying to get out of debt, and I don’t like this idea. What should I do?
Your company should be fronting the money for these expenses. When you talk about the cost of doing business, it’s the responsibility of the company — not the employee — to pay expenses.
If I send someone on the road to make money for my company, I pay the bills. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about hotel rooms, airfare, or rental cars, those are my expenses. If it’s someone who travels a lot, we give them a company debit card. If it’s just an occasional thing, we’ll give them money out of petty cash. But a company shouldn’t treat its employees this way. That’s just plain wrong.
It’s a mystery to me how some segments of Corporate America have sold their employees on the idea of being the company bank. Ultimately, the decision is yours. If you don’t mind covering your company’s expenses and getting reimbursed, but you don’t want to go into debt, you’ll have to save and build up a $5,000 business expense fund in a separate checking account. This should be used only for business expenses, and what’s spent should be replenished immediately when they reimburse you.
You’re in an unusual spot, John. Personally, I think this is an unprofessional way to run a business. But if you like your job, and want to stay without taking on any more debt, the good news is you’ll only have to fill up your expense account one time.
* Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 13 million listeners each week on 585 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.
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