The Change You Should Make NOW to Save Money

Posted March 29, 2013 by Marcy Twete in Life After Five
Xmas time

A while back, I talked about living in a “post-cash” world, where everything can be bought and paid for via app from taxis to food and everything in between. Our financial expert, Kelley Long, warned that while this can be a convenient way to pay, you also have to be sure to pay it off every month! I didn’t think much of it at the time, because I’m kind of a slave to my checkbook. Even with online banking and becoming someone who hasn’t actually written a check in years, I am one of the very few people left in the world who lives and dies by an actual check register. Yes, that’s right, I write down every debit transaction I spend and split them into categories like dining, groceries, entertainment, etc.

But I realized that in my own post-cash world, I was making a HUGE financial mistake, something I call “spreading the love.” Throughout any given month, I might log on to buy something on Gilt or RueLaLa, order something else on eBay, pay for something with a PayPal account, or grab a quick Uber ride. And while I don’t fear I won’t have the money to pay for these things, I pretty much put the expense on whichever credit card is the default for that online account, none of which are my debit card. Inevitably, at the end of the month, I manage to look at 2-3 credit cards and say, “Ouch! I didn’t know that much was on there.”

I decided it was time to make a big change in this area.

My BIG Money Change

I logged into every single one of my online accounts and deleted the “saved cards” from all of them except my debit card.

What does this do?

  • It forces me to “feel” every transaction exactly when it happens. Pay for it in real cash money and it hurts more!
  • It makes me second guess the things I buy knowing I might return them later. I’m known to order 3 things on RueLaLa, try them on, and return 2. But really, I probably could have narrowed it down to that one in the first place and saved myself time and money!
  • If I do want to buy something that requires more cash than is in my pocket (or account) at the moment, it forces me to make a conscious decision to use a credit card. Instead of dropping that $500 on a ticket to a conference immediately via PayPal, I did my research to make sure it was a worthwhile experience before walking across the room and grabbing my purse for the credit card.

This is what I needed to do to change my financial circumstances. Should you?

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."