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Thrifty tips – 1. stick to cash

July 31, 2014

Cash and purse

I’m learning to be thrifty and save money, and even my husband is impressed with my efforts. We have a bigger mortgage since we moved house, and only one salary coming in, so we have to be careful with money in order to get by. We also want to ensure that we have some money spare to do fun things together. So I’ve decided to share my thrifty tips in case you find them useful.

My first thrifty tip is this:

use cash in preference to credit cards and you will spend less

Some folks advise you to pay for almost everything using your credit card, because that way you have a record of everything you spend. But I have found that by sticking to cash, I am more aware of what I am spending, and I spend less overall.

Somehow, cash seems like real money and my credit card doesn’t. Especially now that I can make a credit card payment by tapping 4 digits into a machine, so I don’t even need to write my signature.

I’ve been using cash in preference to my credit card for the last month and it really has made a difference. There have been several expensive items I simply haven’t bought because I could not bring myself to hand over the cash, especially if it meant an extra trip to a cash machine before making the purchase.

The reason I tried this in the first place was that I watched a television programme called The Men Who Made Us Spend which mentioned some research that showed most people spend more if they pay by credit card.

So what do I do if I’m shopping online? I still have to use my credit card for making online payments, but I type the all credit card details in afresh each time, rather than ticking the ‘save payment details’ box or using PayPal. That way, the whole process is slower and I am more aware that I am spending real money. And again, there are several purchases I haven’t made as a result of making it harder for myself to spend money.

So for me this experiment has been a success. What about you? Do you think that credit cards encourage you to spend more? Have you tried sticking to cash? Did it help you to spend less?

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