Credit Card Diet – Top Secrets

Is your spending out of control? Your plastic habit could be to blame. Studies show that we spend as much as 18% more when we pay with credit instead of cash. The reasons for this are myriad: we tend to round up our spendable money to what our credit limit allows; we don’t feel the dollars leaving us the way we do with cash; and, the fact that we don’t have to pay the bill till later lets us make the cost of that new outfit a problem for another day.To combat the heavier spending of credit cards, many people are trying experiments in going cash-only. During the credit-free time,

they take the cards out of their wallet and, instead, go only with cash. Intrigued? Here’s how to do your own cash-only experiment:

  • Don’t set the bar too high. Start with a short no-plastic period, such as a week. In future outings, you can go longer.
  • Decide on the rules. Will you withdraw all your spending money for the week, or are trips to the bank allowed?
  • Review your spending to find out how much cash you’ll need. How much do you spend on groceries each week? How about gas?
  • Know that some things, like clothes shopping, might be off-limits during your cash days. But, make sure you build in a bit of fun spending such as a restaurant meal so you don’t feel deprived.