I’m debating another financial experiment similar to the spending moratorium I undertook last July. This time, I am considering not using any credit cards or debit cards for an entire month, starting April 1. No, this is not a joke.
I got the idea after talking to a friend who had to cancel her credit card because of fraudulent charges. (This was not the same friend that had her credit/debit/ATM card number skimmed.) My friend didn’t have a back up for some reason and was forced to go without a credit card for about a week.
She was astonished at how different it felt to make regular purchases – with cash. At Target she picked out a gift for her grandson’s birthday that came to $61. She balked. $61? In cash? She would not have thought twice about swiping her plastic.
My friend’s experience made me wonder. Is it easier to stay on budget with cash? I pay my bill in full every month so this experiment is not about learning to spend within my means. It’s about spending less.
I rely heavily on my credit card because I spend cash so easily. In fact, I try to limit my ATM usage to one withdrawal of $100 at the beginning of the month. So there is a chance this experiment could go very badly.