Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Frugal: Being a Luddite Helps

Driving in the car last week I heard a story on NPR that made me feel 1) old, 2) more of a luddite, and 3) angry.  All Tech Considered aired a story about how little plug in devices for Smartphones will one day replace your wallet. Instead of pulling out a credit card, somehow your phone via an app will spend your money.  This struck me hard because two days prior my husband and I made a decision to move more of our spending from credit to cash.  Why?  We feel it makes us more aware and mindful of our spending. Using cards, even debit cards, we felt that too often we were simply swiping our card.  If we take the time to do a budget, which we do, we want to make sure we are executing just as well.  So, cash it would be for as much as possible.  Then I heard this story.

I will be of the generation that remembers phones being attached to the wall.  The sound of a rotary dial.  And I like cash.  That makes me feel old, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Old and wise often go hand in hand.  I already avoid technology because I find it stressful to learn, and usually it is a budget buster.  But the part about the Girl Scouts made me angry.  The man interviewed was so fired up about getting into people's bank accounts.  The Girls' aren't just customers, they're merchants too.

After hearing the story I feel even more committed to paying in cash.  I want to control my money, and there are forces everywhere trying to suck it out of my wallet....or in this case Smartphone, but I don't have the app for it .

If frugal living appeals to you, I urge you to think about the forces that are trying to get your money.  Just because something is marketed as being "innovative" or is discounted does not make it a frugal buy.  Frugality is about the efficient use of time and money -- and it requires thought.  When spending becomes too easy, thought goes out the window.  Along with your cash.

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