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Which is better for tracking expenses, budgeting, and limiting frivolous spending?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

For the purpose of this poll, assume you can choose ONLY ONE OF THE BELOW for all purchases you would be making. Ideally I want to hear from people who know from experience and/or education in the field of economics or other related fields. Thanks

* ATM / Debit card only
* Cash only
* Credit cards only


Edited by Sduibek - 6/14/14 at 8:13pm
post #2 of 24
I voted Debit card, because you still have the flexibility of using plastic, either at a store or online, but with the knowledge that the money is coming directly out of your account.

Although, I have read that if you use cash, you will be much less willing to part with your money, as you can touch and feel it, and don't want to give it away.
post #3 of 24
I voted Debit/ATM card because that comes out of your account instantly and (for me) shows up on the online banking reports the instant the transfer is made.

This way you don't spend money you don;t have and don;t need to worry about paying interest on Credit Cards.

Hope this helps!

Spencer D.
post #4 of 24
I think your objectives are not necessarily complementary. If you want to track purchases, CC or debit card will be best. To limit frivolous spending, IMO, cash is best.

For budgeting, none of the above. If you're trying to budget at that point, you're too late, it should occur ahead of time.
post #5 of 24
Debit cards only, as they should limit you from spending more than you have available in the bank account.
post #6 of 24
The answer is obvious: NONE

The more serious answer is: Never buy anything unless you could pay cash (with maybe the exception of your home and your primary vehicle). Then, if you choose to use a credit card, it is only out of convenience, not because you have to. Carry a ZERO balance on all charge cards.
post #7 of 24
I chose the wrong option, but a USBANK debit card is the best. Instant updates as soon as it's swiped and it seperates pending transactions and completed transactions (and shows the amount currently available after pending/completed). It's the easiest and most exact and updated way I can think of. SPECIFICALLY usbank. Others are terrible in comparision.

tracking spending on the website is super easy and reliable. Except at midnights like 1am to 4am or so...

Credit cards can take at a minimum 3 days to post and you don't typically see the pending transactions. Cash begs you to be robbed.
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenzip View Post
I think your objectives are not necessarily complementary. If you want to track purchases, CC or debit card will be best. To limit frivolous spending, IMO, cash is best.

For budgeting, none of the above. If you're trying to budget at that point, you're too late, it should occur ahead of time.
I suppose Limiting Frivolous Spending would be #1 priority out of those 3.......
post #9 of 24
I've seen a few studies at Consumerist that say that using cash for all your purchases causes you to spend significantly (somewhere around 20% IIRC) less because you're actually touching the money you're spending and you have to physically part with it. I'd recommend that if you're trying to curtail spending, you should put that theory to the test.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiGHFLYiN9 View Post
I've seen a few studies at Consumerist that say that using cash for all your purchases causes you to spend significantly (somewhere around 20% IIRC) less because you're actually touching the money you're spending and you have to physically part with it. I'd recommend that if you're trying to curtail spending, you should put that theory to the test.
For me it was the opposite. I spend too much at vending machines.
post #11 of 24
I use credit mostly, since I always pay off the balance while accumulating cash back.
To help with budgeting, I created an Excel Spreadsheet with category break downs. I can see month by month how much I'm spending on certain things, such as going out to eat, or music, or alcohol, etc. and curtail my spending that way. Since I've started logging all my expenses, I've been taking in more money than I've been spending each month. And because I open up the spreadsheet each night to input everything, I'm always reminded of what I buy and what I need to cut back on.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by skitlets View Post
... And because I open up the spreadsheet each night to input everything, I'm always reminded of what I buy and what I need to cut back on.
IMHO, there's a lot of truth in this statement. The mere act of tracking your spending *however you do it*, will probably significantly help.
post #13 of 24
WILLPOWER....
post #14 of 24
My first suggestion would be to stop looking at this sight. That said, cash really limits your spending. Its inconvient to go and buy money orders when buying online items making you think twice. Also watching the money actually dwindle away rather then it being just some numbers on a slip will give you a new perspective.
post #15 of 24
Debt Card... with cash I always seem to be like oh whatever it isnt in my bank account it is just cash and go through it wicked quick. With a Debt card I always think "I have X in my account and this costs Y. Do I really wanna/need to lower my account by Y?" I dunno it works for me.
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