Credit Cards – how many do you have? I had 12! I’m gradually getting rid of them. I just cancelled one that I hadn’t used for months and months. I received an invoice for the 12 month renewal – $89. And because I was away I didn’t make the payment so copped a $30 late payment fee. Because of that they took away some of my frequent flyer points. But I could reinstate them – for a fee! Fees, fees and more fees. Enough!
Apart from taking up too much room in your wallet, they are expensive and a trap!
How easy is it to spend money these days? You can spend on line and Tap and Pay at the shops mean that you feel no pain at all when making purchases. No pain and no thinking. We no longer even need to remember our pin for purchases under $100! No pain until you get your credit card statement and realise that all those taps add up!
What message does this send to kids? They no longer see their parents handing over cash in the shops. So how on earth can they have any concept of the cost of living unless you actively teach them.
As a lesson in spending, how about only spending cash for a couple of weeks. No cards at all. Handing over all that cash when at the supermarket would certainly be a good lesson. I bet if we had to do that we would all spend a lot less. The act of going to the bank and taking out the cash makes you look at it – feel it and know it is real. Would you spend it more carefully? Imagine you are at the supermarket with only $20 left. You either have to go to the bank and get some more or make do with what you can get for $20. Could you make do? Obviously it depends on a lot of things but I know I would if I had to.
Just think – if you usually spend $300 per week on the home – groceries, drinks, pharmacy etc. When you pay with a card you are far more likely to spend more because you are not seeing it disappear from your account until you get your statement at the end of the month. If you have cash in your pocket you will simply be far more aware of every dollar you are spending. You will be more careful.
And as a minimalist you will be aware of not adding more “stuff’ to the pantry or fridge as “just in case” items. How many “just in case” items are stuck at the back of the pantry with use by dates from 2 or more years ago. Guilty? I know I have been and everyone I know has been at some point.