Here in the US we’re just finishing up our end of the year holiday season. A joyful time of year that many will celebrate for religious reasons, while others will celebrate now just because that’s what it’s come to mean for them.
Whatever the reason we celebrate this time of year it’s also a time of year where we tend to spend a lot more money than normal just because of what is happening around us.
I can remember so often when the payments would come due for January, and how I would dread seeing what I now owed knowing that too often I had overspent what I could afford.
This is just one of the many ways that I placed myself into the hole of financial slavery many years ago.
Too often it’s so easy to just whip out that piece of plastic to slid on through and take care of whatever we just decided was needed.
Or years ago, there was the checkbook that I would haul out and just write out pay to and how much, then sign my name and walk on out without a worry thinking all was taken care of!
Today, the checkbook might not be used as frequently as credit cards or debit cards, but the concept of what these things do to us is still the same.
We use them to purchase things we often don’t have the actual cash for!
If I would have been required to actually pay cash for many of the things I purchased in my past my life would have been completely different.
A lot less junk, and a lot more of my money would have remained with me rather than ending up in the hands of various financial institutes!
Don’t get me wrong. Having a credit card to use in times of emergencies is good and everyone should have one available. But that’s what the main purpose of one credit card should be for, using when we don’t have the cash on hand to pay in times of an emergency.
As we’ve been discussing, when we’re out shopping we should already know what we’re out for and about how much we’ll be spending. That in mind we can have the cash in hand when we head out to the stores for what we intend to purchase!
Some might say, why not just use the debit card?
Too often they end up being used just like a credit card. Without the actual cash in hand to limit how much we’ll be spending, a debit card still allows us to go above and beyond what we intend to buy just because it’s too easy. And what the heck, we deserve that anyway, it’s been a hard day/week/month…
The debit card should always be kept at home and only be used taking care of necessary transactions with your financial institutions.
The same is true with your checkbook for those who have them and use them on occasion. Keep it at home and only use when taking care of necessary transactions that require a personal written check you already have separate funds set aside for.
One example for myself is when I pay my property taxes, I always write a personal check and already have the funds set aside to take care of the amount.
This is an excellent next step to gaining control of our money:
- Remove all credit cards except one for emergency situations only
- Keep all debit cards at home and use only for transactions at the bank
- Keep the checkbook at home and use only when separate funds have been set aside
Believe in yourself,
Warren La Duke