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Go Back   BHM Forum > Self-Reliance & Preparedness > Financial > Frugal Living

Frugal Living Anything to do with saving money, living for less, how to save, free stuff, etc.

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  #1  
Old 04-12-2012, 11:12 PM
SevenCreeksSap SevenCreeksSap is offline
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Was just reading another post about fraud and debit cards, and got to thinking about how so much of those issues could be avoided if people just readjust and figure out how to live within our means and just use cash. I didnt want to go into this on that thread and get off the subject, but I would think a lot of people on a site like this would be more selective with their money habits, just due to the way they think about things in general.
I am not picking on the poster of that thread or anyone who uses debit and credit cards on a regular basis, I just think its a sign of our times that so many are so reliant on the convenience of plastic, and then we all complain about the banks ripping us off for all the fees and charges. I was in the same boat until I got married. The Mrs, doesnt like checking accounts, so we switched to cash control. Have never had a debit card so have never paid a dime in those fees. I do have a single credit card to use if we need it, which sometimes goes several months without a charge. She got me started using money orders for the bills, so every bit has to be paid up front, with a .59 or .75 cent charge, so we end up paying about 5 bucks a month for those.
The trick I guess is being willing to take control over your money, and not to make too many impulse purchases. If the cash isnt there, we save up for it, or maybe use the credit if its something we really need or want. There is some interest on a card but at least its not a surprise when its there.

I once heard a way to save money and we started doing it years ago. very simple.
Dont spend $1 bills. - Keep any one dollar bill you get and put it away. get a bucket or something and tape on the lid, cut a hole in it and at the end of the day put in any ones. at the end of a year you will be shocked at what you have. It'll probably be in the thousands. It also makes you think about breaking a five or ten if thats all you have and dont allow yourself to spend the singles. Doesnt really work with plastic though. I'm not sure what we'll do when the US switches to a cashless society like I heard Canada is moving towards.

Are we the only people left who dont live on plastic?
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  #2  
Old 04-13-2012, 12:55 AM
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BlueJae Female BlueJae is offline
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I use cash for just about everything. I have my checking account for paying bills but it's through a credit union and I don't pay any fees. Otherwise I go inside the gas station and pay cash along with all my other purchases. I do have credit cards but for emergency use only or out of ordinary purchases like car repairs, etc.
Less juggling finances when cash is used, seems a lot less stressfull too.
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  #3  
Old 04-13-2012, 01:13 AM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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I do most of my shopping online using PayPal or my PayPal debit card. A debit card is not a credit card. If you don't have the money, the card doesn't work, and the amount of money that I can save buying things online versus putting gas in my car so that I can drive somewhere to pay more for something that it would cost if I bought it online and waited a couple of days for UPS to deliver it, well there's no comparison. We make trips to the grocery store sometimes but most of our food shopping is done online, and almost all of our other shopping is online, the majority of it on Amazon.com.

In fact, if I am in town and stop at a store, unless it's something that I need immediately, which is not often the case, if I find something I want, I'll hunt it up online and order it, since I can nearly always find the same thing cheaper online. I like the idea of buying things in cash, and would never want another credit card, but it's just too expensive to shop at stores.
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  #4  
Old 04-13-2012, 05:11 PM
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KarenBC Female KarenBC is offline
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Canada isn't going cashless, we are just phasing out the penny.

You've got me thinking about using cash more.
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  #5  
Old 04-13-2012, 08:24 PM
SevenCreeksSap SevenCreeksSap is offline
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I heard about Canada going cashless on talk radio, so it may be off or ahead, who knows. I'm sure the whole world will be one of these days, but maybe thats better left for the conspiracy threads below. It would probably benefit USto phase out the penny too, since it costs more than a cent to mint. I'll bet nobody rounds down to the nearest 5 cents. I'm sure our "leaders" would say just have the difference be a new tax. I see the 100 s up there are plastic now.

Using cash has really helped us have control over what we spend. maybe it's more mental than anything else, but you think about it more when you have to physically let go of the green.
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  #6  
Old 04-13-2012, 08:34 PM
kammisue kammisue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SevenCreeksSap View Post
Using cash has really helped us have control over what we spend. maybe it's more mental than anything else, but you think about it more when you have to physically let go of the green.

For years we went without a credit card as to do the "cash only" thing... it became hard.. I was always having my Mom use her credit card to buy me things on Etsy.. Amazon.. etc.. SO!! the solution was to buy a pre-paid credit card... Got one at Wal-Mart and put a couple hundred bucks on it... If we go on a trip I'll put a thousand.. it does cost 3 dollars to put cash on it but at least that way we aren't buying it if we don't have the cash... It is FANTASTIC!!!!
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  #7  
Old 04-13-2012, 08:37 PM
kammisue kammisue is offline
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and the reason we went with the pre-paid credit card rather than an ATM card is for identity fraud... wouldn't want someone getting ahold of the $$$ in the checking account... That is why I only keep a couple hundred on it unless we are going on a trip and know we will use it up

I do use money orders or pay cash for most everything.. last month I only wrote 2 checks
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  #8  
Old 04-15-2012, 04:04 AM
mtviolet mtviolet is offline
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I use cash for almost everything. I have better control over what is spent and when and how. For me it keeps me from overspending. Others will blow thru their cash without realizing it. All depends on the person I guess.
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  #9  
Old 04-15-2012, 03:05 PM
Plowpoint Male Plowpoint is offline
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I like cash, and the money order thing as well.

It is sometimes a pain in order to get to the post office, but I found out, if it is a slight pain for me, it is even worse for my ex-wife who is a teacher and works during the day.

I guess it makes it sound like I purposely make paying my ex-wife in money orders for the sole purpose of destroying her day, but that is not entirely true. I cannot trust her enough to pay her in cash or I would be at court for contempt of court charges every month, and she likes to hold onto checks purposefully so that it smokes my account all at once and I get $32 dollar over-draft fees for every over-drawn check she has. She loves that.

So I pay her in money orders!
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  #10  
Old 04-15-2012, 03:55 PM
grumble Male grumble is offline
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SCS- "Are we the only people left who dont live on plastic? "

I dunno, maybe. Using cash would be a huge hardship for me. For starters, the closest bank to get the cash is 80 miles away. Phone bill would have to be paid 100 miles south of me. Electric bill, 75 miles east. Long distance company is in MO. Internet company is in CO. Different stores, from 75 mi E, 90 mi N, 80 mi W, and 60 mi S. That's to get stuff I need on a month-to-month basis.

Or, I can just fire up the computer, get it all online with no taxes, and let someone else do all the driving.

If some city folks like to run around town paying bills and buying a dozen different things in 15 different stores, using up an entire day and still not getting exactly what they wanted, well, more power to them. Just speaking for myself, I'd rather spend an hour on the computer and use that evil plastic.

I bought some of those "Forever" stamps several years ago when they were 40c or 42c, and I've used six of them. Everything goes over the internet for me.

Pay your bills on time and in full, and a credit card is free. Only those who don't have the self-discipline to keep a mental balance of what's on the card and keep it paid have trouble with credit cards.

Oh yeah -- if your bank has an online account access, they probably also have the "Bill Pay" feature where you can send checks, for no charge, to any person or business. The recipient gets a bank check within three days, so if you buy from one of the auction sites, like eBay, you can save your "Forever" stamps there, too. And most vendors don't even wait for that bank check to clear before they ship like they will with a handwritten check.
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  #11  
Old 04-15-2012, 10:26 PM
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momma_to_seven_chi Female momma_to_seven_chi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kammisue View Post
and the reason we went with the pre-paid credit card rather than an ATM card is for identity fraud.
We learned the hard way to use those prepaid VISA type cards on Ebay and Amazon. We were double dipped twice on PayPal, so we learned to just use the prepaid. And I'm telling you that complaining and filing a dispute with your regular credit card company doesn't always help either. I just don't think credit card companies are always above board and honest. And I know that some sellers or perhaps PayPal itself isn't really that reliable. We lost $173 once, so we just refuse to use our bank account or a regular credit card. We used prepaids. That way they can't get anymore than you put into it It's worth the extra $3 to buy and fill the card just to be safe.
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  #12  
Old 04-15-2012, 11:36 PM
SevenCreeksSap SevenCreeksSap is offline
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Point well taken Grumble, and I'd like to be where you are so far from everything that We'd have to do everything online. I'm sure your prepared for the power to go out. unfortunately our "homestead" is closer to the crowds than I'd like, but you do with what you got.

I do like the idea of a prepaid credit card. Have never used one but will look into it especially if travelling. I understand why people use plastic like they do because of the convenience, its just funny to me that so many people ( not necessarily on this site, but in general) use it all for convenience, but when the banks naturally do what they're there to do, which is make money off of every transacton, everyone complains about the fees and the banks making money. The banks make money off of us because we let them, by choosing to continue to use their product.
I'm happy to say I've never given a dime on an ATM fee, or any other swipe fees that I know of. Maybe they got me on a card transaction somewhere but for the most part dont use it if it can be avoided. I know about the interest.

The fraud thing is part of it too. the MIL was driven to bankrupcy due to that and the hassle was incredible. Now we monitor regularly and I figure the fewer accounts out there the easier it will be to spot.
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  #13  
Old 04-16-2012, 12:33 AM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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My wife and also get paid via PayPal, so it is very convenient for us to use our PayPal debit cards. We also receive income from other sources, such as affiliate marketing and Google, and those payments are automatically paid to other bank accounts that we have. Rather than putting all of our money into one account, and risking losing it all, we have a few bank accounts, each with a debit card, although we seldom use any of the debit cards except for PayPal, saving them for emergencies. In fact, the amount we earn from Google and Amazon covers our mortgages most months, usually with some left over, so our mortgages are automatically paid through that account. Our car payments were on another account, although we've paid off my car and are pretty close to paying off my wife's car, so that can go into savings. I almost never carry much in the way of cash, other than a twenty that I keep under the visor of my car for gas emergencies, and a few dollars for things like coffee that I don't feel like using a card for.
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  #14  
Old 04-27-2012, 02:05 PM
CinnamonGirl Female CinnamonGirl is offline
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We have had our identity stolen from cc number and had our gift card number used across the country by the store "keying in" the number instead of requiring the actual card.

Since becoming debt-free this year we have gone to all cash and a ledger book. Only our insurance payment is automatically withdrawn once a month and that is all we keep in our account. Our phone, internet, electric and gas bill can be paid in cash in the small town 5 minutes away. We do not have a mortgage and never want one again.

We have our debit card and a paypal debit card but we have our cash locked in our safe in a false floor. Cash is king in our home now!

I grocery shop 12 miles away at the Mennonite Bent n Dent outlet store and Dollar General. Rarely do i go anywhere else for groceries...except for meat I like the little meat market in town and I know there is no pink slime in the burger and the owner always stops and talks to me so i know who is cutting and grinding. The last new clothes I got were thrift store and a pair of clearance pants from Kohls in the bigger city an hour's away and that was months ago!

When i have an amazon gift card or extra in my paypal account i will use that for Amazon orders.

Last edited by CinnamonGirl; 04-27-2012 at 02:16 PM.
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  #15  
Old 04-28-2012, 08:51 AM
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SO!! the solution was to buy a pre-paid credit card... Got one at Wal-Mart and put a couple hundred bucks on it.
We actually learned this lesson a few years ago on EBAY. They double dipped our credit card for about sixty-something dollars, and even with disputing the charge it was a pain to get it taken off. It took a lot of time and arguing with the CC company, who was supposed to be representing us, their customer. Finally, we filed a complaint with BB, and AG of the state. Then got rid of that CC.
Since that time, we have just learned to do the pre-pay thing for anything purchased on line. That way, they can only get what you have put in. It does cost a little bit to load a card, but that extra two or three dollars is worth the peace of mind just knowing that you can't/won't loose anything other than the money you put into it.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:54 AM
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The last new clothes I got were thrift store and a pair of clearance pants from Kohls in the bigger city an hour's away and that was months ago!
I was just going to say that many times you can get new clothes off a clearance rack for less than you pay from a thirft store for used. I have bought lots of things off the $1-$3 dollar rack the last couple of weeks at WM to save back for next Christmas for the kids. I couldn't get sweatsuits and snow pants, etc for that price at GoodWill.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:25 AM
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I love cash but I also like my credit cards. Both have their places. Cash is for most small purchases in person. No trail, no chance of identity theft. Credit is for things I want to track and large purchases. I use a points card and then once I have enough I give the points to my wife. She has bought herself a new dish washer, refrigerator, and a bunch of smaller stuff. As someone else pointed out just pay it off at the end of every week and you never pay a cent in interest but you harvest the points. Another advantage is I get a report on everything I bought each year and can then more effectively adjust my future buying habits.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:31 PM
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At my office, we generally take cards--as most transactions are several hundred dollars at a time. Occassionally, we get cash. My boss gets suspicious--he says that the only folks who use cash anymore are criminals. Hmmm.. pretty short sighted thinking, I thought.
Cash works for me because I've seen a sharp uptick around this area in the past couple of years of id theft related transactions on debit and credit cards.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:38 PM
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My boss gets suspicious--he says that the only folks who use cash anymore are criminals. Hmmm.. pretty short sighted thinking, I thought.
I agree with you. Cash is legal for all debts public and private and its use has no bearing on the persons past or future incarceration... Grin.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:21 PM
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Txanne Female Txanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momma_to_seven_chi View Post
I was just going to say that many times you can get new clothes off a clearance rack for less than you pay from a thirft store for used. I have bought lots of things off the $1-$3 dollar rack the last couple of weeks at WM to save back for next Christmas for the kids. I couldn't get sweatsuits and snow pants, etc for that price at GoodWill.
You covered something I have noticed about GW---they have stopped their senior citzens discounts here.

And their T-shirts are 3.99---2.99---WM had them for 1.99.

Since I had worked at WM I knew they would have the sales.

I do not understand GW anymore---maybe its the cost of doing busines?
BUT all their products are donated---no product purchase on their parts.
They will continue to price themselves out of business.

Txanne
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