Do not carry cash. You will spend it. Bada-bing bada-boom. Simple as that.
I know some financial gurus say to carry cash and use it because it “hurts more” than spending with plastic, but that has not been my experience.
When I’ve got a few bucks in my pocket and my stomach is grumbling, guess what, it doesn’t hurt at all to walk over to the vending machine and buy some brown sugar and cinnamon pop tarts. (The best kind, by the way.)
Here’s the thing: you think you have control over your behavior. Guess what, your environment has a lot more control over your behavior than you do. If you’ve got a few dollars in your wallet, they’re easy to burn on an impulse purchase.
So, to combat impulse spending, set up some barriers for yourself:
- Do not carry cash around.
- If you must carry cash around, carry large bills (at least $20′s) because you’ll be less apt to want to break them on small purchases. (And don’t worry about getting mugged and your cash getting stolen, thieves don’t expect people to carry cash nowadays.)
- Use debit cards (especially rewards cards) for purchases. Only the most hi-tech vending machines accept cards as payment.
Bottom line: carrying small amounts of cash around results in impulse purchases and wasted cash. If you think your “will power” will protect you from nickel-and-diming away your future, you are mistaken. Your environment sends you cues about what to buy and if your cash is handy, you’re a goner.
And it’s called a “laptop case”, not a murse.