Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cash Spending - How Do You Do It?

A few days ago at work, some coworkers called to see if I wanted to go to lunch with them. Sometimes I do go just to get out of the office, but try to keep these occurrences to a minimum.

This particular day I wanted to leave, but knew that financially it would be much better if I stayed and ate something I had in my fridge at work.

Then I found $5 in my wallet and immediately called one of them back and said, “Hey…I can go! I just found some cash in my wallet.”

She and I proceeded to talk about how amazingly we seem to feel no guilt about spending cash. Somehow spending $5 in cash is “ok” for lunch while spending $5 on lunch from my debit card is a more difficult decision.

I wonder why that is.

I’m not trying to hide any spending. Nothing of the sort, really. Just somehow it seems like “real” money if it comes directly out of my bank account rather than from my wallet.

This is a big reason why I try not to carry cash – it seems to disappear without me knowing what in the world I’ve done with it.

To add to this madness, if I am using cash only at the grocery store or while shopping, I spend less because I don’t want to have to pull out my debit card while I have cash specifically for a purchase. I know that is totally contrary to what I just told you, but the big purchases seem to make me think differently than the small ones.

What about you? Do you view cash the same way as a debit card purchase when deciding what to buy/how much to spend?

Photo credit: foxumon


  1. Oh, I totally agree. If I have cash, I just don't know where it goes after it's in my wallet. However, I'm much better with looking at my bank account and spending accordingly. I can't remember who recommends that you never use a card, but I would be so much more irresponsible with my money if I went to all cash.

  2. @El - I'm glad I'm not the only one!