This is the sequel to last week’s personal finance blog post. If you are like me and you cannot get your hands on one of those nifty bills up there, here are a couple things that help me “adult” better and save money.
Act One: Out of Sight, Out of Mind.
This summer I got a lecture from my dad (You know the ones, long, boring, unsolicited, and totally right) because many a times we were out and about at a farmer’s market I was not carrying any form of payment except for my debit card. In my defense, I hardly ever shop at farmers’ markets and 99% of the time I use my debit or credit card to pay for things, I could not even remember the last time I used cash.
Well, amongst many things my dad told me, one thing I found totally useful and has stuck with me since then. He said that one of the virtues of carrying cash is that it makes it very hard to overspend and gives you a strict budget. Using my card had made transactions out of sight and thus out of mind so it way too easy for me to stretch my budget for certain things and make impulse purchases. I still carry my card around, but just as an insurance policy. I just take out the amount of cash I need for going out with friends or grocery shopping, and if I run out, I run out.
Act Two: Slide Or Chip Reader?
Credit Cards get a bad rep sometimes. Mostly because when people misuse them they end up putting themselves in a pickle of high interest and a low credit score.
However you are using your credit card, you should know that it is a double edged sword, and while it can serve as incentive for making unnecessary purchases, a credit card can sometimes be a life saver -if you treat it right.
I use a credit card as an emergency line of credit. For example, a few weeks back I had to pay for doctor’s visit and I did not have enough money in my checking account, so I just put it on my credit card and I paid it off at the end of the month.
Also, building a good credit score is very important in the long term. It shows that you are a responsible borrower and will lower your possible future car or house payments. The way to do that is to use your card when necessary or spend as little as possible and to just pay off your credit card bill every month.
Again, I would also suggest visiting with the great people at Powercat Financial Counseling on campus. They know dozens of amazing money-saving tips and tricks and are willing to help you out for free. Personal financial counseling out in the real world costs a lot of money, so take advantage of this amazing free of charge resource.