Sunday, December 16, 2007

My Secret To Spending Less

Do you ever notice how banks are really trying to push those handy little visa debit cards? And I’m constantly getting mail for the latest low-interest rate offer for ANOTHER credit card. Do you know why they do that? I’ll tell you why.

If it’s easy to spend money, well, then spend it we will!

They know this and have used their knowledge for evil…not good. They WANT it to be easy for you to spend your money. They also want it to be easy for you to spend THEIR money so they can make an even bigger profit off the interest. So my theory is this...

Credit/Debit Cards Baaaad!

Cash Gooooood!

Now visa and credit cards aren’t all bad. But very few of us use them to our benefit. They are great to have as ATM cards to get cash out of the machine. They are also great if you order things off the internet or have an emergency where you can’t get to your bank.

But we’ve found that for us, if it’s a little more difficult to get to our money, we have a bit more time to decide if it’s really something we want to make the effort to buy.

For example, we recently decided not to carry our cards with us. They stay at home in a safe place and aren’t conveniently in our wallets or our purses. When I make a purchase I have to calculate how much I’m going to spend before I leave the house. I make a plan and I’m forced to stick to it. Then I take the card out of its box, head to the cash machine and ONLY take out what I’ve decided to spend.

This eliminates impulse buys and makes me really consider what I’m buying as I shop. I don’t have the convenience of adding more to my grocery cart than I intended. I have to keep a running total as I shop and make sure that it fits in my budget.


Rebecca said...

My spend-less secret?

Three words: The Grocery Game.

( and no, I do not work for them or anything. :) )

A four-week trial is $1. But here's a tip. Wait until the second week of January to start. (There aren't likely to be lists the next two weeks because of Christmas and New Years.)

If you can avoid going nutso on all the FANTASTIC DEALS (which is hard), you could get a TON for your $50 weekly budget. You just wouldn't be getting "everything" each week.

Your plan of taking out only the $ you are going to spend for groceries would help the "going nutso" thing that so many early Grocery Gamers have trouble with.

O.k., the explanation took more than 3 words, but The. Grocery. Game. is a wonderful thing. :)

dddiva said...

My secret is to have a big enough stockpile of the things we use that except for a few exceptions- mainly dairy and fresh produce, we only buy what is on sale and generally marked down at that. It has saved me TONS of money.
Sometimes I will spend money to save it- like buy a few months worth of something I know we will use even if I wasn't planning on it if it doesn't expire beforehand.
I'm enjoying your blog, some good ideas. :)