So a while ago, I watched this report on the news that did a study on using cash vs. using credit/debit cards. They took a family, froze all their cards and forced them to use cash instead. At the end of the month, the family ended up spending dramatically less money on their expenses than they usually did. The reason behind this phenomenon is that since they are now actually physically seeing how much money they are spending, they naturally try to spend less.
It made sense. Sounded like a good idea to me. That’s probably partly why it’s so much easier to gamble in casinos using chips rather than cold hard cash. It doesn’t feel like as much money when you use plastic chips, just like it doesn’t feel like as much money when you swipe a plastic card.
So I tried it out.
Did it work?
The problem with using cash for everything is the god damn change. Getting loose change is my worst enemy, and it should be yours too. Losing change is a pain. Every time you lose your change, you are essentially spending an extra dollar. For example, say you buy something and you get 65 cents in change.
And then you lose it.
Now you want to buy something for $3.25.
You have to break another dollar. You could have spent only three dollars, now you have to spend four.
And the worst part is now you have three more quarters to lose.
It’s a never ending cycle.
Don’t think you’re too good for change, you’re not. It adds up incredibly fast. Now I know this blog has pennies all over it and that’s “ha ha funny” since the theme is about being cheap. But let’s get serious for a second here. Pennies are actually important because they stop you from breaking up nickels, nickels are important because stop you from breaking up quarters and finally, quarters are important because they stop you from breaking up dollars. And dollars are important because they make you rich.
You know that Asian mom that’s always holding the line up at the grocery store because she’s trying to pay in exact change? You want to be her. You might be rolling your eyes while you wait behind her but guess who’s laughing in the long run. (She is) And she’s laughing hard.
Side note: What’s the deal with dimes and why are they so small? Dimes are so easy to lose. Also, why do those automated machines that give you your change to make the cashier’s job easier give you goddamn dimes and nickels instead of quarters? I smell a conspiracy.
Anyways, my solution to the problem is this. Use only cash if you are a girl, since you all carry around wallets with zipper pockets. It’s good to know exactly how much you are actually spending. For guys, just keep using your cards. However, check your bank account at least two times a day, EVERY DAY, to constantly remind yourself on how much money you’ve already spent. Thinking about how much money you spent is a good way to stop yourself from spending more money.