I’ve decided to change my spending habits in an extreme way this past week; I’ve hidden all plastic cards (debit & credit) and decided to implement a strictly cash-diet. This is as simple as it sounds; hide all my cards, only use cash and only purchase things with the money I’ve allocated for the week.
I’ve had some feedback about this. What will happen if there’s an emergency? I realize an emergency can happen at any point, but at present, I can also spend at any time and that’s what I want to minimize.
So, I’m going to continue and see how it goes. I have a few reasons for this.
- I will become a more conscious, mindful spender. For the most part, when using plastic, it’s just a motion. I don’t pay attention. I track all expenses but this is after the fact. Using cash only will make me more attentive on all spending habits.
- I will save money. I already work on a budget but now I will see exactly how much money I have for the week. I won’t be able to take more cash out (as I’m leaving the cards behind), which means when I’m out, I’m out.
- I will not make impulse purchases. This is a big one for me. I don’t buy many ‘things’, but I have a habit of buying food here and there. I’m hoping that by doing this, I will plan more. I will cook more and I will not have to purchase on impulse as often.
- I will buy what I need and not what I want. The epitome of that minimal life! It’s so easy to buy, buy, buy. Most of what we buy is what we want and not what we need. Using cash will, again, let me think more about each purchase. Do I need this? Do I really want to spend my last $20 on this? I’m hopeful it will improve living minimally.
Research shows that when using credit cards, people spend more. Cash, therefore, allows consumers to control and be cognizant of purchases. I’m sure this is exactly what credit cards and banks frown upon.
I’m excited to try it for the month of November. I have a feeling that by the end I’ll want to continue. I think my wallet will want me to continue as well!