Every year when my husband gets a really, really up close look at how much money we actually give the government on an annual basis, he goes on his annual tirade that we spend too much money. Now, when I say we spend too much money, he doesn’t mean on things like kelp-squish skincare products or the expensive peanut butter that doesn’t have salmonella in it. He means on those non-essential items like the pills that keep one of our kids from having seizures. Just kidding.
He did read about this awesome concept where you don’t use any credit or debit cards. The theory is that by actually handing over cash, you can watch it disappear from your wallet. It’s supposed to make you be more careful with your purchases. In theory, anyway. He carefully explained it all to me while my eyes glazed over from the sheer lack of interest in trying this.
Day One: His plan actually cost us $48 right off the bat. I can’t watch the money carefully disappear from my wallet if I don’t own a wallet. Or a purse to put it in. I’m not being all diva here, but I seriously had to buy a purse and a wallet–and I mean at Walmart, not Kate Spade–because he handed me cash for the week and I had nowhere to put it other than stuffing it down my bra.
Day Two: I had to use the credit card at the gas station.
“What happened to the money I gave you yesterday?” he demanded.
“Where was I sitting when you handed it to me?” I asked, my mind becoming a foggy haze.
“In your office,” he said with a growl.
“Then it’s probably on my desk.”
“Because I couldn’t find the scissors to cut the tags off the new wallet. Oh wait! The scissors should be in the pencil cup. Next to the cash.”
Day Three: I had to write a check out of his account to pay for our child’s baseball uniform.
“What the hell?!” he demanded.
“I had to pay for her uniform, and that was something you budgeted for,” I explained patiently.
“AND I HAD THE CASH TO PAY FOR IT!”
“Then you should have taken off work and showed up for her baseball game. It’s not my fault the soccer moms who run this town decided to schedule baseball games at 11:00 in the morning,” I explained even more patiently.
Day Four: The Great Dry Erase Board Debacle of 2013
My husband actually went and spent money on a dry erase board to hang up in my office so we could keep track of what expenses we had to pay each month. It was a $20 dry erase board, and it only came with double-sided foamy tape that he refused to stick to the wall. It’s now hanging in the garage. You know, where we’re sure to see it every day.
Day Five: I had to use the credit card again.
“Seriously? Now you’re just doing it on purpose to derail the plan,” he argued. “Where did you shop?”
“The liquor store. And my weekly budget doesn’t even cover the amount of alcohol I’m going to need to not care about this dumb plan.”
Sigh. “I hope you bought enough to share.”
“Nope. Go use your cash.”
I realize I sound pathetically stupid throughout this post, but it really just boils down to habit and inconvenience. We had a lovely discussion about how I’m supposed to pay bills from the checking account if I’m holding all of my cash. He stopped me from mailing fifty bucks to Verizon and had to rethink the strategy. I’ll be over here with my Visa-funded booze while he buys another dry erase board.