Choosing Paper Over Plastic
A swipe of a credit card, a scan of a mobile app; the daily act of spending money has now become a little too easy. For tech-savvy college students, it is now second nature to conveniently reach for a smart phone or magnetic strip for small, day-to-day purchases. No hunting for ATM's in the area, no coin counting; life made simple. Yet, those routine swipes, more often than not, tend to fly under the radar. Three dollars at the corner coffee shop, five at the campus convenience store; the dollar signs can really rack up. Too much careless electronic spending can often lead one into dishing out money that does not exist.
That's why slipping cold hard cash back into everyday transactions may be worth the inconvenience. Sure, impressing a date by buying their latte via iPhone is a slick move but paper money can be a smarter method to pay for smaller purchases. Here are a few ways that whipping out the green can help keep you away from the red.
Put a Lid on Payments
Credit cards have limits, but most are in the thousands, some even upwards of five-digits. The higher the limit, the deeper one is more likely to be tricked into thinking they are economically stable. With cash on the other hand, once that ten dollar bill is gone, it's gone. A wallet full of bills means that the limit is in your pocket and visible. This can prevent spending outside of what is actually in your bank account.
Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow
According to a 2008 study by psychologists, Priya Raghubir of New York University and Joydeep Srivastava of the University of Maryland, people who consider themselves to be generally thoughtful were less likely to spend cash than swipe a plastic card. Those, then, who tend to be a little nostalgic remember how they acquired individual bills and are more hesitant to throw them away towards another purchase. Having cash on you at all times can therefore steer one away from having to kiss it goodbye.
Diversify Your Spending Repertoire
Although we study, live and play in a modern world, not every cashier will accept credit. Cash, however, will forever be the universal language of trade. Even in New York City, there are many places that are exclusively cash-only. From unique eateries to hole-in-the-wall taverns to mom-and-pop pharmacies, some of NYC's most colorful and character-packed spots only accept the green stuff (and they don't mean AmEx). Be prepared to experience it all with an open mind and a wallet fat from the ATM.
Sure, tech-driven payment methods may be best for big bills, online shopping and highway tolls but for the little expenses on the go, you may thank yourself by having cash pick up the tab.