During any time of the year, it's easy for us to lose track of spending when we have the convenience of a simple swipe of a plastic card in our wallets. When you have a credit card limit of $15,000, it makes your workday lunch or $5 coffee habit seem like it’s not a big deal. But it's the incidentals that really add up. So how do we spend more responsibly?
Experts at Desert Schools Federal Credit Union say that just one habit can help consumers cut spending: using cash.
This may be hard to implement for everything, but try using cash for anything under a specific amount, say $20. It can be realistically implemented into the daily lives of almost all consumers. In fact, a study from the Urban Institute and D2D Fund says that consumers who received reminders to use cash for purchases under $20 had an average of $104 less in revolving debt at the end of the study.
Using cash forces consumers to be more spending-aware, especially when it comes to those small purchases that seem like incidentals.
During the holidays, it can be especially easy to "just charge it" and worry about paying it off later.
Taking this practice one step further for the holidays can help you stay on budget and reduce overspending with a credit card. Set a budget for gifts and withdraw the appropriate amount of cash from your account for those gifts. When the cash is gone, your spending is done.