This whole experiment of not using my debit card has made me more aware of each cent I spend. Literally.
I always carried a few pennies and dimes in my wallet, but after a week I’d stash them away in a change jar at home. It’s practically empty, considering how little I used cash in the past, but after these past two weeks I’ve notice substantial growth.
My bank has a “keep-the-change” policy, so that every time I use my debit card the purchase gets rounded up and the change is deposited into my savings account. While this feature is basically the electronic version of my change jar, I never noticed its effects. Seeing the physical jar containing actual money creates a mental note of all my purchases and ultimately has a bigger impact on my spending and saving habits.
Since I stopped using my debit card, not all of my change gets dumped in the jar. I use it every chance I get and frankly it’s made most transactions easier.
Take the example of a $2.64 cup of coffee. I can either hand the cashier exact change, or pay $3.14 and get 50 cents back. Keeping exact change for times like these means I don’t receive burdensome amounts of change back, or better yet can control how much I do get. By doing a little math each time I was at the register I was able to collect enough quarters to do a whole load of laundry. It only took me four days and didn’t require a separate trip to see a bank teller.
So far there has only been one downside to using up my change. A few days ago I was in a fairly long line and it was getting longer by the minute. As I reached the counter, ordered and began to pay, I heard the gentleman behind me grumble something about wasting his time. He had his debit card out and was ready to swipe and dash out of there, but my minute-long transaction was too long for him. When I received my change I slid to the side to let him order while I put my change back in my wallet. He was done before I was, and gave me a look that screamed contempt.
Yes, cash transactions tend to take a bit longer, especially when the cashier has to count change back. It’s still money, though, and using it makes a lot of sense to me.
Data Privacy Series: Smartphones, Apps, and Tracking posted on Sep 29
Picture this: You are out in public—anywhere—and half the people around you are looking down… at their smartphones. What are they doing? They are texting, reading an article, playing a game, or they are using one of the many, many apps offered for smartphones. Smartphones …Continue Reading Data Privacy Series: Smartphones, Apps, and Tracking
Scam Alert: One Ring posted on Sep 23
SCAM ALERT “One-Ring” Scam Scammers are calling from an international number that appears to originate in the U.S., causing consumers to unwittingly return the call to an international number and rack up some hefty international call fees. This is commonly called a “one-ring” scam, but …Continue Reading Scam Alert: One Ring
How to Use Contractor Websites to Shop Around for Home Improvement Contractor Work posted on Sep 21
Do you need roofing work, from normal wear and tear, ice damage or another reason due to the winter storms? Many homeowners must make repairs to their homes from the tough winter, and yet may not have found a contractor to make those repairs. If …Continue Reading How to Use Contractor Websites to Shop Around for Home Improvement Contractor Work