Do you remember back before debit cards? Yeah, neither do I. The world of money and commerce is becoming hyper digitalized. It is even becoming to common to pay for everyday items, like lunch at Panera, with a debit card. While debit cards lead to a huge degree of convenience (not to mention avoiding ATM fees or a trip to a bank to withdraw cash), they can also lead us to being frivolous with our money.
I know I don’t think as hard about spending $5 latte when I swipe my card as I do deciding whether to part with $5 from my wallet. All my psychology majors reading this probably know a theory to define this phenomenon. We can use this human behavior to our advantage for budgeting. Are you going to weekend show? A Dover tent sale? Before you leave, have in mind an appropriate amount you would be willing to spend that weekend. Withdraw that amount from a bank or ATM and stash it in your wallet. You might notice yourself making different decisions about how you want to spend your money. If you don’t, you’ll run out of money and learn the hard way that you cannot do any more things!
Now, as I said before, carrying cash does require a good deal of responsibility, especially if you are taking out an amount to last you a weekend or extended period of time. It’s important to invest in a good wallet to keep on you. But more on wallets in another post. Let me know how you like using cash. Do you find yourself spending smarter?