You feel that pang in your chest. It is the end of the month. You haven’t opened up your mint app in three weeks because you are a teeny bit scared. You have been feeling deprived all month because there have been so many things you wanted to do but you have been trying to be good with your spending. Yeah, you went out to dinner a few times and you bought a couple of small things on Amazon, but that is no big deal, right?
I believe that we all have good intentions when it comes to spending. No one wants to go into debt. No one wants to be irresponsible with money. So why do so many of us feel ashamed to even think about our money (or lack of)?
Remember the days of spending most of your money with either check or cash? Think of a 100 dollar bill (insert currency of your choice). What does it feel like in your hand? Are you a bit nervous that you might lose it? Do you want to go and deposit it (cha-ching!)
Now think of the last three purchases that you made on your credit card (or debit card). Write them down on a piece of paper and add them up. What did the number come up to? Now think of what the cash of those three purchases looks like in your hands. If that cash was in your wallet, would you feel just as confident purchasing those items with the last bit of cash that you had?
Internet shopping has become incredibly convenient. Need dish soap? No need to go to the store anymore. Just hop on Amazon and place it in your cart. $3.99. Wait a sec. This is an add-on item. Hummmm. What else do I “need”? Oh, I have really been wanting this new journal and it is only $14.99 – no big deal. $18.98. I only need $6 more dollars worth. Whoa, look at these amazing pens that go so nice with the journal! $18.99 but I will totally use these. There are 12 different colors! Ok, great. Now I can check out. $40.62 with tax. What the what? I needed dish soap! Whatever, I really don’t have time and the journal is going to be super useful. Click. Credit card on file, address already filled in. Done.
Now I want you to think about going to your local supermarket. You have 2 crisp $20 bills in your wallet. You go in and find the dish soap. $3.99. You are in a hurry and forgot your credit cards. You see the journal and pens but think to yourself, I really just came in here for dish soap and since I don’t have my credit card, I would really rather save this money for dinner later tonight with the girls. Yes. I will be the plan ahead gal with the cash to make splitting the tab easier. You proceed to the checkout line, hand one of your twenties over and get some nice change to use later with dinner. $35 remain in your wallet and you have your dish soap.
Do you see where I am going with this? Our spending adds up so quickly with little purchases. $22 here. $6.99 there. But it is many times for things that were more convenient and not actually needed.
Challenge for this week: Estimate your spending for the next week on items that are not necessary. Take that amount out in cash. Use your cash this week and vow to only use your debit card on groceries and other needs. Each time you make a purchase (cash or debit), think of the amount of cash that you would be handing over. Ask yourself if you would still feel ok using cash for the transaction.
Let me know in the comments below, what your 3 last purchases were and how much they added up to. A bit shy? No worries, love. Let me know if cash feels more valuable to you then a number in your cart.