I've been pushing myself to pay with cash more and more for large items - setting aside a certain amount and budgeting what can come out of the paycheck for my wants, or needs. The wonderful part about shopping with cash is that it has taken away the emotional connection, it has taken away the impulse spending that causes me to make mistakes by getting a poor quality item or regretting the purchase later or not being prepared for an unexpected because I was only thinking of my immediate gratification.

For example: If I have $300 to burn and I buy an iPhone on impulse, but then a belt goes out on my car, I may have to wait for another paycheck to get those taken care of because I already spent most of the money on an impulse purchase. Instead, I want to research possible discounts I may be able to get on the iPhone and find out the value of getting a refurbished one or a smaller memory phone. Ultimately, I want to save as much as I can for the "just in case" times that may pop up and impulse buying doesn't care about those rainy days.

I was reading an excerpt from the Wall Street Journal about a father who helped his own kids with impulse buying by laying down a rule: You want it? Then you pay half and found that the kids changed their tune. "Two things tend to happen when we offer to go 50-50 on something a son pleads for. First, he pauses and ponders -- for the first time, it often seems -- whether he really needs this thing. Second, he tends to take more personal responsibility and pride in ownership of the thing if he takes a 50% stake."

My own parents did this for me as well, there was an "adult bike" that I wanted but they were too expensive brand new for my parents to buy for me, instead my parents offered that they would go in with me on half. I recall getting out the newspaper and going after a bike, it was used but in great condition that lasted me for years. That was the first time I saw the difference in how I treated the items I had to buy with my own money. It was a lesson I learned and carried with me for the rest of my life.

It seems that we do slack off a bit as we get older and that same attitude change needs to be a challenge even into adult hood where we have to decide how much we really want something based on the cash we will have to save to get it. It might annoy us to have to save the money but the end result of owning it outright and not continuing to have to pay on it will help increase our patience in the delay of that gratification.


  1. Anonymous // Wednesday, January 27, 2010 3:48:00 PM  

    Rather interesting blog you've got here. Thanx for it. I like such themes and everything connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.

  2. Zengirl // Thursday, January 28, 2010 1:49:00 AM  


    Paying with Cash and that too with your money, sure changes one's behavior. I also tend to use credit card much freely, even though I will pay for it later. Cash is always a better choice.