I’m doing a little awareness and mindfulness experiment.
I am paying with cash instead of credit to help raise awareness about how much money I spend.
I have realized that it is so easy to swipe a card and not to really think of the money that is going out with each swipe.
For some reason, taking cash out of my wallet makes me more aware of the amount than just handing over a credit card. This is weird. Have you tried it?
I am more aware of how often I am spending too as my wallet gets thinner. I am also thinking about what things actually cost.
For example, this weekend I was at Rite Aid and bought razors and deodorant for my husband and kids. I forked out $56. Isn’t that crazy?? That’s a lot of money for basic essentials that most probably don’t consider when making a budget. I am also teaching my kids about choices and how much things cost as we discuss careers and majors and college and working hard.
I bought ice cream treats for us and let the kids pick their sizes. This experiment cost $16 for three servings. That is a lot of money for dessert. We talked about and learned about how stores use pricing that makes us want to pick the larger size since the price for a bigger one isn’t much more than the price of a small or medium. We also talked about food choices and how we can be satisfied with a small size and indulge with a treat and still watch our portions yet our mind is trained to always think bigger is better. I don’t know if I would have had these conversations had I just handed over a credit card. I think paying cash just made me more aware of my habits, which is a good thing.
I saw results today too. I am obviously talking about money with the kids this summer and teaching them about income and costs, choices and trade offs. Juliana was shopping for swimwear and actually compared prices before picking a bathing suit. I was happy that she was considering price as she chose one that looked cute, fit well and was affordable. As I pulled out cash to pay for her suit, I told the sales lady about my experiment and she thanked me. She shared with me how she liked that idea and how she had done that in the past too and how it made a difference. I appreciated her validation and support and she was thankful for the reminder as she wanted to try again too. I think feeling the money leave our hands makes us think about our consumption patterns a bit more.
How about for you? Are you mindful of your spending? Do you pay with cash, debit or credit? Have you ever tried switching to raise awareness? I will continue on with the cash process as I think it is making a difference and at least raising awareness for myself and my kids.
Good luck!! xo