This is the first post in a series that I will be featuring in which I share one small tweak that I have made to my budget/life to positively impact my finances. Some may seem like common sense and others you may have never realized impacted your budget. Let me know if you incorporate these tweaks into your life and if they help you! now back to the topic at hand..contactless debit and credit cards!
The contactless card
When this feature came out I was initially skeptical. What if someone stole my card and went on a shopping spree? I considered calling my bank and asking for it to be disabled and then I tried it. One easy little tap against the card machine and that was it. I loved it. Then the problem at hand was myself going on shopping sprees. That item in the shops that I didn’t really need or had planned on buying? Tap, over budget. That second bottle of wine when I had spent the money I had taken to the pub? Tap, over budget. I could list a hundred examples of times that I tapped away money from my budget that I didn’t need to spend and probably just as many on my credit cards that made my budget that bit more tighter.
Contactless is a great little feature that makes checking out when shopping that much easier. When you’re in a rush and want home, tap. No fussing about finding the right change or going to the bank before shopping. It takes away the mindfulness of your budget though. Out of sight, out of mind.
swapping to a cash budget
I told myself and others for so long that I preferred paying with card and didn’t like carrying cash. What if I lost my purse or if it was stolen? its easier to cancel a card if it does happen and there’s a bigger chance of getting the money back from my bank or card provider.This reasoning didn’t factor in my overspending though and sometimes you can be your own worst enemy.
Within my budget now I stick to cash only. I have removed my credit cards from my purse. I do keep my bank card in it for emergencies or if I need to withdraw money that I have planned to take out. I set out my budget for the month the day that I get my payslip. Calculating my outgoings (bills, credit payments etc) and the amount I’m putting into savings or special events and then I am left with the money that I divide into either a 4 or 5 week allowance depending on the way my salary is coming as I get paid on the last Thursday of the month so it can vary.
Since I get paid on a Thursday I have it set that its my day to claim my allowance. I take out the money that I have sectioned off for that week and put it into my purse. If I have money remaining from the week before I put it into my change jars. If I have any purchases that I need to make online I plan these ahead and adjust my cash budget accordingly.
I’ve been doing my weekly budget this way since November and I wont pretend like there hasn’t been some slip ups but when I do I give myself a shake and remember my goal. Its also built up my little savings jars which I will be using to boost my holiday spending money. My aim this year is to start trying no spend days and weeks as to boost my savings jars and not overspend on things I don’t need. Carrying cash is just as easy as using my contactless card no matter how long I tried to convince myself otherwise. It also adds in the possible surprise of finding a £5 note that you put in your pocket when leaving the shop instead of your purse that you forgot about!
How do you work your everyday/weekly spends? Do you like using card or cash? if its card do you find it easy to keep track and not go over budget? Let me know in the comments below.