No. I’m not talking about grocery bags here. I’m talking about the other kind of paper and plastic: Cash or Credit. Before we open up this “can of worms” I’ll provide you with a quote from god’s Dave Ramsey’s site…
When you pay cash, you can “feel” the money leaving you. This is not true with credit cards. Flipping a credit card up on a counter registers nothing emotionally. A study of credit card use at McDonald’s found that people spent 47% more when using credit instead of cash. This is money you could have saved!
Forty Seven percent? Really Dave? I’m calling shenanigans. In fact, I’m gonna take it a step further and call you a Liar, Liar Pant on Fire-er. There is no way in H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks, I spend more with my credit card than with a wallet full of benjamins.
Cash is so stinkin’ difficult to keep track of. I don’t know how it happens, but everytime Wife Ninja puts a $20 in my back pocket, it turns in to some frozen yogurt, a California burrito, and a pack of gum real quick. Keeping receipts for cash purchases is about eleventy billion times more complicated than having Quicken automatically include them in my credit card purchases. Since I suck at keeping receipts, I never know exactly where my cash went. And since I don’t know how much cash I’ve spent on any one particular spending category, I’m MUCH less tempted to restrain future spending on unnecessary expenses.
With my credit card, however, I watch that balance like a hawk. Not a day goes by that I don’t check my account. As I watch the balance increase, my desire to spend decreases. I know every time I swipe that card it’s going to make my monthly credit card statement a little larger. And since I pay my bill in full each month, the goal is to keep that sucker as tiny as possible.
Now what I won’t say is that EVERYONE should use credit. I realize some people don’t have the discipline to charge within their means, but that doesn’t mean those of us that do are bad people. Dave often speaks of people who use plastic as naive for thinking they can “beat” the credit card companies. We aren’t naive Dave, we’re just different. No better, or worse than you.
So what’s the name of the game for you: Paper or Plastic? Do you believe those that disagree with you are naive?