Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Confess, I Did It...

I swore I'd never do it.

I got a debit card. I have used it. I like using it. It is easy. It is fast. I don't have to write a check. I don't have to pull out my driver's licence and give them my phone number. People don't have to wait in line behind me. I don't have to sign anything. (and that picture is not my cards, so don't go blowing it up trying to steal the numbers -it's some picture I got off the 'net, so it's probably bogus ... I hope...)

And I'm sure you're all wondering "why", right? Here's the "why": Checks cost money. I (used to) write checks for EVERYTHING. That meant using LOTS of checks. I figured up that 1 check cost us about $.10. That's alot just for a piece of paper that I never see again, or like at WalMart, I sign in, give it to the lady, she sends it through the machine and hands it back to me, I come home and shred it. I might as well chuck a dime into the trash can each time instead. Now, I wouldn't think of doing that, and neither would you. So... I got a debit card. I thought long and hard over this... I almost prayed about it, that's how much thought I gave to it. I wanted to be super, duper, extra sure that I wasn't going to just go out and turn into some shopping freak with a massive negative amount in my checking account and the blood hounds from the bank busting through my back door to haul me off to the unknown to make me pay for my unwise actions.

And I'm pretty sure I'll be able to control myself on this. In fact, I'd say "I'm sure". I think I'm frugal and "stick to the budget" enough to know that the piece of plastic doesn't mean "free money!!"

Oh, it was SO nice to just swipe the card at WalMart when I got groceries! And I DID make sure to write it in my ledger (that was my other fear, that I'd forget to record it and end up overspending that way!). And it was so nice to swipe the card at the chiropractors... and the pharmacy... and nope, I didn't go anywhere else. I didn't have to sign anything, spend 5 minutes (at least it seems like it to the guy behind me) writing a check. Ha ha, the previous time I was in Walmart, I was writing my check, and a jerk, I mean, guy, walked up obviously in an impatient hurry. He said a few %#*%&@# and something along the lines of "he'd never get out of there if people keep writing checks!!!!". I'm sure he just needed a pack of cigs or Twinkies... Oh well.

I know this isn't the end of my check writing (when I worked at the bank there were several people that NEVER used paper checks, EVER!!)... we still get paper bills in the mail that we have to send paper checks to pay (or we could pay online... that is another thing that freaks me out). But at least my grocery store visits won't cost me an extra $.10 anymore. As for ATM's, well, I've survived this long without carrying cash, I can keep surviving!

And I'll leave you with this: I'm still a firm believer that plastic can be very, very, very, very (just read that a few times to get the gist) bad for your budget. Like VERY. If you wanna get a handle on your budget and spending, you gotta get a handle on your plastic.


Growin' with it! said... [Reply to comment]

hi miriam! i noticed you on my blogroll. and i love, love, love meeting new bloggers. so thanks for joining my crazy site.

and as for the topic of plastic...been there, done that, got in trouble, payin' the price. so i agree with the dangers. big ugg.

and welcome to the debit world, it does make life simpler! ;o)

Sally said... [Reply to comment]

Ahh, convenience! It was hard for my husband to talk me into giving up cash for plastic, but he did, and we haven't gotten in trouble. I'm confident you can keep out of the red, the way you are disciplined!

Ashley said... [Reply to comment]

Wow, I can't believe you have been writing checks up until now.

I have never not had a debit card. I don't know what I would do without it.

However, you made a great point about budgeting. You have to not overspend. Plastic does that to some people.

Thanks for the great post!


Lucy said... [Reply to comment]

When I didn't have a credit card, I used my debit. But now I use my credit card for everything, because I get points that will turn into money back. I still pay my bills with checks and still have a debit card, but hardly ever use it. And it is possible to not go crazy with a reg. credit card. I keep in mind that I still have to write a check for it at the end of each month.