We are moving rapidly towards a cashless society where all transactions will be conducted electronically. At least that has been the prediction for over two decades, but cash is still a popular and important method of payment for many. Germans, for instance, make 82% of their payments in cash, compared to 46% in the U.S. Studies of the German phenomenon identify two reasons they prefer cash; to provide a check on over spending and to maintain a higher level of privacy with regard to their finances. While electronic cash is here to stay, there are some practical benefits in the German example. Studies have proven that we spend 12 to 18% more when using credit cards or debit cards versus cash as it is easy to make impulse purchases.
And of course, many types of credit come with very high interest rates that add to the problem. If you are concerned about your level of impulse purchases, you might want to try using more cash. Keep cash in your wallet at all times and use it for your everyday purchases. Give yourself a cash allowance each week so that you can “see” where your money is going and how much you are spending. Take the entire allowance out of the bank at the beginning of the week and put only a portion in your wallet each day so you are not walking around with too much cash. Consider leaving the credit card at home unless you know you are going to need it. And most important, question every purchase, especially the large ones, and ask yourself if it fills a need. Stay in control of your spending and save money. It is just smart.
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