Thursday, May 22, 2008

Paying with Cash

First of all, I love, love, love my debit card. Initially I had a bit of trouble remembering to record purchases in my check register but got that down now.

However, the weekend of Rendevous, I needed to be sure that I didn't overspend so I took cash. And even managed to come home with a bit left in my pocket. I don't spend much money during the week. An occasional fast food lunch or extra milk between grocery shopping. So the debit card slept.

And then last mid-week I got a letter in the mail from the bank. They were installing a new computer system over the weekend and the debit card would be in time out. I could write checks, but here the stores mostly just use it like a debit card and hand it back to you. What was a bit disturbing was that the last time a deposit would be recorded would be on Thursday....and my pay check would be there on Friday. Oops.

Fortunately I try to stay one pay period ahead on bills so that wasn't a worry. So what I basically had to work with was a cafeteria check.

I cashed it and here's where the fun started. I'm not sure how others are, but I almost always go to the store with a list. And come home with hopefully everything on it plus a number of things that weren't. I guess I'm a sucker for end caps and "action alley". But Saturday, I actually had to make sure that what I bought could be paid for with the cash in my pocket. So, no new magazines. No new tshirts. No new nail polish etc. I paid for the groceries..which consisted of only food this time. And there was cash left over.

This week I've been to the store once. And to Dollar Tree. I needed more milk, and I needed to get a gift bag and card for a wedding gift. Dollar Tree has the prettiest gift bags for a dollar. Much less than at W*lmart. And their cards are a lot less expensive and the one I chose was just beautiful and said all the right things. Oh..and it was only 50 cents.

And still I have a bit of cash in my pocket. Will have to get more before the weekend so I can pay the mower man.

And a nice bank balance since I was unable to order anything online over the weekend (a terrible habit...browsing etsy!)

I guess I really don't pay as much attention as I should to my outgoing money. It's so easy to think.."Well, it's only $5" But when it actually leaves your hand, it's much more noticeable.

Knitting? Well there has been some. And some frogging. And more knitting. And more frogging. Was it a difficult pattern? No. Was the yarn uncooperative? No. Do I occasionally read through a line of a pattern and somehow rewrite it in my head? Um yes. Does it work? No..not if you plan to actually create what's written. Finally after a long time of puzzling, I realized what I had done. Instead of repeating what it actually told me to repeat, I was trying to repeat it repeatedly. Got it figured out now. Stay tuned.

So, am I the only one that sometimes get carried away with the debit card? (I have to admit though that I've never been overdrawn and haven't used a real credit card in a long, long time. And someday, maybe when I'm 103, they'll be paid off.

And am I the only one that sometimes just totally manages to screw up one line of a pattern?


Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean about getting carried away with the debit card. I have CCs but only use for absolute emergencies. I've been thinking of just giving myself a cash allowance for the week.


Sara said...

I've always been very careful with money - and my friends tease me about the "envelopes" - but, I hide money on I still have Holiday and birthday money left...

I use my debit card cause I don't do credit cards unless it is an emergency or a huge purchase (like fixing the car)...and so far so good...and it's hard cause I have to juggle 3 debit cards for our household.

Devorah said...

I'm also a careful one but I do know how easy it is when those "one off's" are just irresistible.

Periodically I have to put the family on "credit hold" with the cards. We always pay them off each month but when you have to dip into savings to pay the bill, it is time to ease off.

KatyaR said...

I don't have any credit cards, so yes, sometimes I go crazy with the debit card. I took cash to Rendezvous as well, but I ended up writing two checks anyway. (sigh)

I don't carry much cash any more--I find I actually spend more money when I have cash in hand.

Missy said...

No, and no to the debit card and pattern questions. I am ashamed to admit how many times I have gotten in trouble by overusing my debit card. Of course, my husband uses it too, but somehow it always winds up with me being the party that feels guilty. What's up with that?
And the pattern thing...I'm currently knitting Trellis from Knitty. This is my 2nd time to make it, and both times I have had to reknit the back and both fronts several times because I don't seem to be able to pay attention to the directions. Sometimes I will skip an entire line where it says "bind off 9 stitches" and I'll get to the end and wow - I've got 9 stitches more than I should. I'm not usually like this, but this sweater has been driving me crazy. And what's REALLY sad is that the pattern is pretty well written - all one has to do is follow the directions. Heh.

jessie said...

Our credit cards are on permanent time-out, except for the part where we are paying them down. I love my debit card!

I don't carry cash and in fact I think I buy more little stuff with cash, since I hesitate to use the debit card for really small purchases.

It's always good to be aware of where every penny goes. But I prefer not to think about it... :-)