Cash/credit: same price

Happy October blogorinos!

Remember how starting in March I gave up something every month?  Well, I kind of forgot to do that in September, unless you count the giving up of my place of residence.  There’s nothing like moving that makes you want to say, “oh, fuck it, I will have that second piece of cake.”  Or, “I’m just going to order in some Chinese food.  Might as well make it a large.  And throw in an egg roll while you’re at it.”  Or, “I would go to the gym, but how can I possibly lift weights when my books are not yet alphabetized?”  And of course, the most famous refrain from the month of September as I furnished and decorated the new place, “That will be credit.”

I haven’t checked yet to see how much I spent on my credit card last month, but I can tell you that it was a lot.  And with my car insurance due at the beginning of November and the holidays looming around the corner, I want to give that thing a break.  So October is (yikes!) no credit card month. As part of that, I’m planning to curtail my casual trips to Bloodbath and Beyond and Target: my wallet.

As always, I’m a fan of the caveats.  When it comes to pumping gas, prepaying in cash is a pain in the ass.  Maybe I’ll make use of that debit card that is more than just a gateway to the ATM?  Or maybe I’ll just fill up in Jersey, where they do it for you, and you don’t have to pre-pay.  Also, I have a separate card I use for non-in-person transactions (online purchases, EZ-Pass, my gym membership) that I’ll keep.  I can’t even imagine how much of a P.I.T.A. it would be to pay EZ-Pass with a check.

And speaking of online purchases, one of my resolutions of 2008 was to be more charitable.  So every month, I’ve given $30 to someone or some cause.  Next year, I’ll bump it to $31.  My friend Jennifer just emailed me the other day about DonorsChoose.org, a charity that helps teachers and students.  I’ve chosen not to participate in the blogger challenge that they’re doing, but other bloggers I read are participating (and locally), so go over there and help them out if you want to give your age in dollars like I do. It looks like a fantastic way to get schoolkids and teachers the supplies they need.

On a slightly different topic, when it comes to this kind of stuff, being good to others and living substantially, and being careful about conspicuous consumption, Allie has always been an inspiration.  She’s just redesigned her place, and it looks great, so you should go over to see that alone.   But you should also visit her because it appears as ABC has used her famous kitty litter recipe in an article without giving her credit.  If you want to take a minute to go show her some support, I’m sure she will appreciate it.

That’s all I got.  If you need me, I’ll be at the ATM.

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14 responses to this post.

  1. Well I don’t see why you can’t use credit and just make sure you don’t spend more than you have. And screw it: have two egg rolls!

    That’s actually the way I roll, but I’d also like to have some savings. I tend to spend everything I have.

  2. Oh my god, Noelle, you rock so much! Thank you!

    “I would go to the gym, but how can I possibly lift weights when my books are not yet alphabetized?”

    I know that feeling all too well!

    There’s always something better.

  3. One month you try giving a blogger money.

    Like me.

    I think you’re doing all right there for yourself.

  4. I think giving up your old place of residence and the landlesbian definitely counts as giving up something.

    I think taming the credit card demon is a good idea. I should try that myself or they are going to do it for me. That being said, why, why, why should Target suffer? They’ve given you (on credit) so much? Is withholding your love and you minimum payments any way to show your appreciation?

    It’s true, they are obviously hurting without me. Maybe I’ll just go visit from time to time.

  5. Posted by nancypearlwannabe on October 1, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    I just saw pictures a co-worker sent me of us eating ice cream cake at a faculty party and it was the last straw. TO THE GYM WITH ME.

    That’s how I felt when the pictures from the last swim meet came down the pike.

  6. Posted by lizgwiz on October 1, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    I no longer have any credit cards. I use my debit card for everything. Smartest thing I ever did. Oh sure, it would be a pain if I needed to rent a car/hotel, but…it sure keeps my budget in line.

    The idea of paying cash, you can actually feel it leaving your hand, makes me pause. And I think that’s good.

  7. I haven’t used a credit card in eight years. Pay for everything up front.

    I’m too self conscience to join a gym, but this might be an inspiration to actually work out at home for more than just two weeks straight…right, after I organize the attic.

    Once I put myself on the path to the gym, it’s like there’s no turning back.

  8. I totally admire your giving-one-thing-up-every-month thing, but I use my credit card for everything and I can’t imagine paying for things in cash or with a check. Maybe you could just curtail the non-necessaries?

    That’s my goal, but the problem is that using a credit card feels like I’m not really paying anything. And that’s a problem.

  9. I was determined not to fall back on my credit card again until Christmas present season, but then I went for an oil change last night and was told I needed $400 of scheduled maintenance. Ouch. Better luck next month? Meanwhile, good luck to YOU!

    Cars, they always get ya.

  10. Posted by Jennifer M. on October 1, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Thanks for the shout out for DonorsChoose!

    You’re welcome. Thanks for the gift card!

  11. Having moved about a dozen times in the past eight years, I can say that’s a completely accurate depiction of my mood when I’m in the middle of a move.

    It’s like everything stops.

  12. I haven’t had a credit card in five years. Which is awesome in one regard, but horrible in so many others. Luckily for me, even if I get tempted, my credit is still too horrible. Oh, and also, there’s some sort of “credit crisis” going on. From what I hear.

    Credit smedit.

  13. I think the debit card is OK. It isn’t credit. It doesn’t charge interest. It is the same as cash.

    I’ve been trying to do that for a few months, not using my credit card. I wish I could be like my brother who uses his credit card for everything to get points and then pays the balance off each month.

    I really should look into my points situation. I think I’ve got some coming.

  14. EXCELLENT!! I need to follow your lead on this one. But pay at the pump for gas… that is a biggie for me.

    I DREAD Christmas just for the reason that you stated… the credit card bill. We are going to cut our list in half this year. We HAVE to now that we are small business owners. In fact, that will go on my todo list for next week. Contact folks about NOT trading gifts this year. That should be fun. 😦

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