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Rule One

January 16th, 2011 at 07:12 pm

Sister paid me back for her half; I deposited it and sent it to ING. No doubt I'll be sending her 5K back for my yearly farmette support...but that will be after we get back. And I'm now over $39 in finding dirty money since mid-July.

I've been developing the habit of downloading the weekend podcast of Marketplace Money. Its the personal finance arm of NPR's Marketplace. Both shows I've been glued to ever since the economy went down in September 2008. Anyway, the latest series on the podcast is that the producers have button-holed a person asking, "what's in your wallet?" ...and the person describes their wallet and pulls out and describes their contents.

I can tell you right now why many Americans have spending problems.

Sometimes first, but usually second on the list after the cash. The credit card. In your wallet.

Rule one for beginning frugality: take credit card out of wallet. Bring card only when you are on an errand where you absolutely need one, remove it in the daily use wallet.

I'm telling you, if you routinely carry the credit card, you routinely use the credit card. Having to fetch the card from home when you see something you must have is a built-in cooldown period.

Now it could be that in a few cases a person got caught running an errand and had the credit card. And it could be that for a very disciplined few - like Monkey Mama, for instance - carrying the card and putting every thing on it works.

But really, for the beginning frugalist, make it easy on yourself. Much easier to avoid using the card when the wallet and card are unlinked.

1 Responses to “Rule One”

  1. ThriftoRama Says:

    I like marketplace. I also really like Planet Money. They are very good at explaining complicated investments.

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