Category: Money/Finances


So I had the good fortune recently of using my card at one of those hacked/compromised retail stores. My bank was nice enough to issue me a new card. The problem was not only was I not informed of this but then I never received it. Because time had passed between when they sent it to when I should have received my card, they took the initiative to cancel my card. Yep, the card I was still using because I was not told any of this. I had to call and complain because my card was randomly being declined; randomly meaning not every time I used it. I assume the credit card part of my card was canceled which allowed me to use it as a debit card with no problem. But with all this and a missing card out there, they had to cancel all these cards and send me a new one. This was really inconvenient to me.
 
I started to wonder again if I should switch completely to cash and only use my debit card for specific things. There are all these articles on the internet saying why one is better than the other. I decided to do a post of my personal pros and cons of using cash and ask for feedback:
 
 

Pros:

  • Everyone takes cash.

I don’t have to worry about declines or malfunctioning machines.

  • No overspending.

I don’t usually overspend. I only buy food and supplies. Sometimes I buy some candy that was not on my grocery list.

  • No fraud.

There would be no way to control the money in my pocket from someplace else.

Cons:

  • No record of charges.

I’m used to having a record of what I spend and something bigger than a receipt to prove I bought something.

  • Loose change.

I don’t use a purse or wallet so everything goes into my pockets. I don’t mind having it but if I buy stuff at a few places it may build up.

  • Emergencies.

Cars break down and other such unexpected events happen. This is probably the reason I would never be without a card.

  • Can’t buy online with cash.

A huge issue for me. Online shopping is so much better than going to a store full of people and may be not finding what you want. Plus there are those great cash back websites that give you a rebate from certain stores/companies when you purchase items online.

 
Overall, it looks like cons win. I think what I may do is decide what I should use cash with and what I shouldn’t. It may take a while for me to get in the habit of using cash. I do like money as everyone does. I don’t even think it is evil. People are evil and money gives them the opportunity to do whatever they want. I tried to think of a good photo or video to go with this post (as you do) and I immediately thought of this from Monty Python (the first time I typed this I did Money Python).
 

I was watching my typical ESPN Radio Line up the last couple of days and you always get athletes plugging some event in which they are involved. Those people are already rich and so do they really need an extra $1 million a year? Why can’t companies sponsor me as a normal person? Isn’t the way that YouTube videos go viral enough for them to put a million or maybe even $500k on me to circulate information? Since I have reduced working hours, I could even travel around for them. They don’t need to give me a first class ticket.

 

There are several products that I use daily that I could promote. Not sure if I should name names but if you have a big company and will to pay normal people feel free to contact me. FYI billion dollar alcohol companies, I’m not a drinker so I can’t be an endorser. Unless you want to hire me as a chemist, then I can do it because I can analyze anything. Really, I can.

I just started my first week of part-time employment.  Of course it is a huge pay cut but what can you do?  I managed to get a temporary position at my “past” employer since my previous position was limited on how many contract renewals I could get.  Plus budgets continue to shrink, especially in the area of research, so really it is good for both parties.  Therefore, it is time to re-evaluate the monthly budget to make sure I can live on the new income.  Once I get that first pay check, I should know for sure what is to come.  Also, in my state, I may be eligible for some unemployment even if I work part-time.  I applied and am waiting to see what that looks like.  Generally, I believe my income will be down by about 40% but we all know bills stay the same.  They will probably increase with me being home more.

I set myself a couple tasks for this coming week.  Today, I made a list of my current average monthly expenses.  This week, I’ll go through to see where I can cut from using less electricity to student loan payment adjustments to probably getting rid of the TV portion of my cable bill (obviously I need the internet portion).  This will involve most likely hours on the phone with companies but when money is involved I can stay on the phone all day.  My other goal is to start cleaning house on the items that I own.  I have so much stuff I really don’t need.  If I do get a real job soon then I can move quickly and with less stuff.

You can look forward to more posts and updates now.  I figured why not be honest about the struggle to come.  Not giving too many specifics but enough to give good explanations of my reasoning.  I know others go through the same type of things.  And just to say I am not a crazy shopper.  The only reason I bought new clothes is because I lost 30 lbs and I needed new jeans that would fit.  A good need for new pants I think.  The only thing I probably waste money on is food.  I like good food and that is a problem, but I will drastically cut down on that now.

Financially Related Articles

Here are just a couple of articles that I found this week that I wanted to share.

Credit card checkout fee taking effect

The first one is how credit card companies are making you pay more by adding user fees. The good thing is that they say it does not affect debit cards. So, this adds to the reason why not to use credit cards.

Three Simple Ways to Get a Bigger Tax Refund

The second one has tips on how to get a better refund. I liked that I may be able to get deductions on “job-hunting costs”. I had to mail a packet for a job application so it’s good to know I could get paid back for such things. Although I’m sure it doesn’t total the 2% of my AGI, but still it is something to keep track of. When I got my current job I was able to deduct my relocation expenses since they didn’t pay them.

I saw this article today from Yahoo Finance.  It makes some good points.  I gotta get more serious about investments (IRAs, 401k, etc).

13 Money Lies You Should Stop Telling Yourself by Age 30

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