Cash is Closer to Home

A post on the allure of using smart phone mobile payments from blogger Shopping to Saving caught my attention.

Basically, she wrote about a Starbucks application which can be used as payment at Starbucks.  Even though I think this is a nifty idea (and wish I thought of the idea to patent), alas, I will not be using any app to pay for anything any time soon.

My reason for this is “cash is closer to home.”  I find that the more separation there is between physically paying for something with cash, the less I feel I am “paying” for it.

Take this weekend for example.  I took out $160 cash from the bank machine to pay for my hair cut ($70) and my bus tokens ($50).  Physically using those $20 bills was much more painful for me than simply swiping my credit card, even though the amount spent is still the same.

Even the motion of just counting the money, gives me a few extra seconds to debate whether I really want to be spending this money.  This is not to say that I operate on a cash only basis.  Most purchases I make are on my credit card (which is paid off in full every month), and I carry about $60 in cash on my most times.

If I had an app to buy things, there is yet another layer of separation between me and my cash, which makes it easier for me to spend money.  So for me, by just using sticking to my cash and credit cards, I’m inadvertently saving money by removing layers of separation to my money.

Readers, would you like to use apps and other devices to pay for things?  Do you think these apps would make shopping more convenient or too tempting?




Filed under Finance, Personal

7 responses to “Cash is Closer to Home

  1. I sure as hell don’t want to use an app to buy stuff. I see how it will attract people, and even though I love technology, I’m not a fan of it.

    I’m like you, except for the cash part. I use my debit card religiously. I don’t like cash just because it’s so easy to lose, then once you do it’s gone. At least with debit cards and credit cards they can be cancelled and replaced before people get the chance to spend your money. That being said though, I usually don’t deposit cash if I get it from someone as a gift (unless it’s $100 and $50 bills). Losing $20 really wouldn’t kill me. I use my debit and credit cards all the time. I like having coin for things like coffee and bottles of water.

    People still love their cash though. Working at the bank, there are constantly people that deposit a cheque and then take it all out right away, and it lasts them two weeks until their next paycheque. I could never do that, but I guess it’s good because once that’s gone, it’s gone.

    I don’t use ATM’s (withdrawal fees if I go to one that’s not my bank institution) and I have a chequing account with unlimited transactions. Therefore, could care less if I use my debit to buy something that’s 0.15 cents. The only time I ever take out money is for rent and if I owe someone money.

    Don’t even get me started on cheques.. 🙂

  2. My phone is so old I’m lucky that it can still send a text message!

    I imagine having an app on a phone must make it far too easy to spend money, so I wouldn’t have it/them.

  3. Kim

    I don’t have a smart phone. But if I did, I would use apps to purchase small things that I would have purchased anyway, such as regular coffee (if I drank it regularly), bus tokens, and milk, simply for the convenience. I would not use it for bigger purchases and for things that I don’t already regularly, because I don’t want to start a new spend habit (due to the novelty), and because I wouldn’t feel safe transacting with larger amounts that way. I don’t think it’d feel any easier or more tempting to spend than with a credit card though. In general, cash feels WAY MORE REAL to me than using credit and even debit. Debit is a way closer to home than credit is, but no electronic method of payment “hurts” more than physically paying out with cash. I’ll buy a top for $45 dollars without blinking, but if I have to shell out $17 for a dinner using cash, I always cringe a little inside.

    I guess the increased consumer spending (and therefore, ensuing debt and interest payments) is exactly what credit providers wanted, huh?

  4. I’m just about the opposite from you: I don’t like having too much cash on hand because I will spend it. The less I have in my purse the better. I’m always aware of what I have in the bank because I check my accounts daily. Ok, you got me, hourly. That said, I probably still won’t use the app because I’m always suspicious of new products like that. What if your payment gets lost somewhere? This new type of transaction probably isn’t covered under your bank and not even under law! I want to wait around and see a few of these issues ironed out before I use it.

  5. I’m the same! Cash leaving my hand makes it so much more real. I’m less likely to buy small things like starbucks or gum because I don’t want to break a 20. I would not do the mobile thing – it just seems silly to me.

  6. Thanks for linking me! 🙂
    I really wish I could use cash the same way you use it… I don’t get this emotional attachment to seeing my cash go for some reason. It’s horrible! When I use my debit card I feel bad because I hate seeing my money get lower right away when I log on to my accounts or

    For apps I think I would only use it for things I would have bought anyway or for convenience, OR if I was going to get some rewards or something out of it. I don’t think I would use it in place of my debit card… especially if it would take awhile to post on my account – I may forget to track payments since I really really hate receipts!

  7. I don’t think I could use that app… I already have a tough enough time with Living Social. They store your credit card info, so all I have to do to buy the daily deal is click like 3 buttons. Too easy! And that’s just what they want…

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