Have I ever mentioned I’m a bit like The Queen? Yes I’m British but it goes a little deeper than that.
I don’t carry money (well rarely anyway), and apparently (according to Gip over at So Much More Life) all The Queen carries is
‘extra white gloves and note cards about who she will be meeting’
Now I don’t own any white gloves, so the similarities are starting to diminish however….
It’s New Year and our thoughts are starting to turn to how we are going to do things differently this year. Our diet, health, education, career, future plans, long-term goals and of course our finances.
One thing that will not be changing in any way for me is how I handle my relationship with money. I may have already mentioned on this blog that I am not and never have been a materialistic person. I may not have mentioned however that I am not overly frugal, in that I don’t bargain hunt, nor do I particularly deprive myself of something I need (note the word need rather than want).
Generally I have a very healthy relationship with money, I’m not frugal but a by-product of my simplified life means that I spend consciously.
Here’s the twist to the post Guys…
I use a Credit Card for 95% of my purchases, in fact probably more than that.
and here’s why:
1. I don’t like shopping, I have been known to have a mini-panic attack whilst in a shop browsing shelves – no joke! Therefore I tend to do the majority of my shopping on-line including my groceries. Credit cards are a convenient way to pay on-line.
2. If I have my wallet or bag stolen, or I misplace it (which has been known to happen) then it’s one call to the credit card company and job done. No cash to go missing.
3. Some of my purchases are insured/guaranteed due to making the payment by credit. If I order something on-line and it doesn’t show up the credit card company gets another call – job done!
4. It’s not easy to fritter away cash when you don’t have any to hand. That £1.30 magazine is so tempting when you can drop some loose change on a counter, not so when tempting when you have to queue, type a pin number in a machine and wait for a receipt.
5. It’s really not so easy to just buy that dress you don’t really need when both you and the Hubby are going to sit over a coffee and reconcile the bill with the receipts at the end of the month. It makes you accountable for all purchases.
6. I have a complete picture at the end of each month as to what I have purchased and where. One month (a long time ago) I had a shock when I discovered I had spent £50 (half my usual weekly food budget) in a fast food outlet over the course of one month. Guess what – that hasn’t happened since!
7. Having one bill can make reducing spend an attractive and seemingly more attainable goal. One lump sum is easier to reduce rather than reducing in bits and pieces. Example if you spend £1000 a month on your card, aim for £900 – that looks like an amazing reduction and very easy to measure and prove!
8. Go for a card where you get cash-back, then you get paid for the privilege of keeping your cash in your bank account for an extra month before paying for things! WIN WIN!
There are of course certain things to bear in mind when using a credit card in this way.
1. You MUST pay it off in full each month, and not incur interest. That’s a no no. So you must understand what you have to spend, and you need to be sensible. A credit card does not give you free reign to go on a buying binge.
2. Keep all your receipts so you can reconcile the bill at the end of the month. In 18 years I have only ever once been charged twice for one transaction, but it can happen.
3. If you are new to credit cards or there’s a danger of overspending then get a bulldog clip and put the first receipt in, then when you add next receipt add the 2 together and write the figure on the top receipt at the bottom, and keep going so you always have a running total. Then stop when you are at your limit! Not your credit limit but what you can afford to spend!
4. Never give anyone your pin number and be conscious where you have used it over the internet… always consider there are security issues, but that by keeping track of the bill it should eradicate any fraud.
5. Be sensible at all times, a Credit Card is real money
Oh and one last thing – if you drive, do keep a bit of loose change hidden away in the car – I’ve been caught out on car parks that do not accept card, and boy that’s a pain!