Save money by using cash instead of a card

Save money by using cash instead of a card.

If you walk into a supermarket with only a £10 note, you’ve limited your spending to a tenner. Sounds obvious, but it’s an effective way to control your spending.

Furthermore, it’s really hard to stick to a maximum spend if you’re using a debit card. And credit cards are even more of a risk.

Sometimes how you pay is as important as what you spend.

Research has shown that people on ‘cash only diet’ save £100s compared with those that spend on cards. People tend to cut loose and spend more when they’re paying with a credit or debit card Scientists have found that spending cash feels more painful than using plastic.

In one experiment, participants were given free cash and invited to spend some of it. They spent much more carefully compared to when they were given credit vouchers.

The easiest kind of budgeting

Empty all of the money out of your pocket or wallet. And there’s your budget. What’s left is what’s left. The perfect way to stop over-spending.

Cash isn’t without its dangers though. Fivers can easily fall out of your pocket and get lost. You might also be worried about getting mugged. But last year 7.3m people were charged for using an unauthorised overdraft. That’s 90x the number of victims of robbery.

With cash there’s no:

  • bills for spending at the end of the month
  • impact on your credit score
  • late fees, charges
  • interest to pay
  • risk of getting into debt

Save money by using cash instead of a card.

About Adrian Davies

With a background in money advice, Adrian's been campaigning for fairer finance for 25 years.

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