25 Nov 2014
We live in an era of easy money where everyone is encouraged to BUY now and PAY later.
Whether it’s a credit card with 20% interest or a zero-percent-down offer in a store, the message seems to be that you can have it all and you can have it now.
And I think it’s reached a point where many people don’t consider whether they want or need the things they buy: they just SWIPE AND GO.
The beauty of the credit card is that it is incredibly convenient.
No more fumbling for change in the supermarket. No more worrying about if you brought enough cash to the restaurant. And it’s perfect when you’re shopping with friends and you want to treat yourself to a new pair of shoes or a new iPhone of course.
The problem is, we have become a nation of debt junkies.
Make A Plan
Mike Tyson said “everyone has a plan till they get punched in the face”.
But honestly, I don’t think most of us even have a plan.
And credit is such a seductive thing that we don’t even realise how hard we’re being punched until it’s too late… until the money’s all spent.
Of course, the beauty of the credit card is also the thing which makes it so toxic: its CONVENIENCE.
This might sound crazy but I would say that credit cards are too convenient.
They make us soft and they prevent us from thinking.
Because what is there to think about really?
“I want that watch / perfume / plasma screen…”
“Can I afford it?”
“Of course I can…”
SWIPE & GO!
In fact credit is so easy that it’s almost as if we need a reason NOT to buy things these days.
And it’s only when you get the bill at the end of the month that you need to think about paying for any of the things you’ve bought… for the watch, the cinema tickets, the fancy restaurant you took your girlfriend to for her birthday…
And when the credit card bill arrives, you only have to pay off the interest, so you can keep spending and spending without ever really paying for anything… you just keep pushing the pain further and further forward.
That means there’s a big disconnect between effort and reward and it encourages us to be irresponsible until it’s too late to turn back.
Because what happens when the money’s spent and the credit card is maxed out?
Then it takes a HUGE amount of discipline and effort to STOP spending and to pay off the debt: all pain with no reward.
And that’s why most people end up getting deeper into debt instead of getting out it.
Take the #PayCash Challenge
But long-term, cash is worth it.
Don’t believe me?
Just try it!
Challenge yourself to PAY CASH FOR A MONTH.
No credit cards. No debit cards. No store cards.
I’m calling it the #PAYCASH CHALLENGE… are you up for it?
PAYING CASH makes every purchase you make REAL and counting out the notes and coins when you pay for something reminds you how hard you’ve worked for the money… it makes you think about the VALUE of what you’re buying.
PAYING CASH also makes you consider how MUCH you’re spending and encourages you to budget your money, because when you feel your purse or your wallet getting lighter towards the end of the month, you’ll start to think twice about a night out and a taxi home, particularly if it means you can’t afford the bus-fare to work the next morning.
But most importantly, PAYING CASH makes you THINK: every purchase you make should be a decision, not just a wave of your magic plastic wand.
Are you with me?
Seriously, what have you got to lose?
To hell with the Joneses… to hell with credit cards… and to hell with racking up more and more debt each month and digging yourself deeper and deeper into the mire.
Tell me about YOUR story and YOUR #PayCash challenge below: you’ll be helping inspire other people, not just helping yourself, and I’m looking forward to reading all your stories.
I will be on hand to answer any questions you may have, and I will also be inviting the people with the most interesting stories to share their experiences here on my blog.
While you’re at it, why not add a copy of the #PayCash Challenge badge to your blog to show your support?
Get involved! #PayCash