Saturday, May 14, 2016

Spending in Check

Before traveling to Italy earlier this year, I took the steps any savvy traveler does and cleaned out my wallet. I removed all crap I usually carry around (multiple cards, memberships, coupons) and pared it down to one main credit card (with no foreign transaction fee), a backup credit card, and a debit card.

I distinctly remember removing my business credit card and placing it somewhere "safe" in our house, thinking, "I'm going on vacation and have zero intention of doing anything professional, so I won't need this baby for sure," and then putting the card in a drawer or something. Upon returning from that trip, I scoured all my usual hiding spots to no avail. I couldn't find my card anywhere.

Part of me thought I should call the bank and report it lost, but the task of updating all my saved payment info and linked accounts seemed too daunting at the time. I was fairly certain I'd find it, and there had been no strange charges that might indicate the card was in someone else's hands, so I just let it be. 

That was about three months ago, and my business credit card still hasn't turned up and I still haven't requested a replacement. Why? It's been the absolute best thing ever to reign in my spending. The card is still connected to my most essential vendor sites, so I know I can purchase jewelry supplies if I need to. But it's not available in-hand for impulse buys, and the effect has been astounding.

My average monthly spending used to be in the thousands, and I would frequently carry over a balance (and pay interest, booooo). The past three months my balance has been zero, zero, and $16.85. Granted I have a good inventory in place and lots of extra supplies lying around...but it's incentive to use what I have and only buy that which is really, truly necessary - using cash.

I won, baby!

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