Thank goodness the era of debit cards has not just taken off, it has skyrocketed. Debit cards have meaningfully made us take cognisance of our day to day handling of our monetary affairs. With credit card in hand, it is oh so easy to swipe and charge, for purchases, not really thinking of the consequences, even though at the back of one’s mind is the knowledge that the purchase will be more than what was charged for – but the temptation was just too great because the “cute little outfit” in the display window was really “a must” for the upcoming office party or whatever else grabbed one’s fancy. Not so with debit cards though. Somehow, in one’s psych, one is aware of the spending limits one can indulge in. and so one takes great care not to succumb to temptation.
Though the economic climate has dramatically declined these past few years, it can be heralded as a wake up call, to wise up to what one can afford – what is really needed and what can be put in abeyance for the time being. Balances are but a phone call away – the number to call conveniently found on the flip side of the card. – or if an account is set up with the bank on the Internet – a few mouse clicks away. Available balances on the account are easily obtained by utilizing an ATM machine. These days an ATM is found in so many convenient places i.e. supermarkets, banks, stores, restaurants, even at laundromats. The savvy and meticulous keep a log of expenditure and deposits in their pocket books, thus overspending is avoided. This is a real good idea to put into practice.
Debit cards are now automatically received when a savings and/or checking account is opened. Many companies, such as Metro PCS,( www.MetroPCS.com, Cash Checking Stores(www.TheCashCeckingStore.com etc., offer prepaid Visa cards, which work exactly like a debit card. These institutions allow for balances to be obtained by dialing a simple three digit number, which requires a personal pin number, to prove that one is the owner of the card and added to this each transaction, be it purchase or loading will be text messaged directly to the cell phone of the debit card holder. This further leads to alert one, should the card be lost or stolen – that an unauthorized purchase was made. (The down side of these prepaid cards though is the fact that one could choose to use the prepaid card as a credit card as well.) The upside: charges are about $3.00 per load – therefore no hidden fees or unknown charges on the account.
The result of maintaining to live within in our means leads to a debt free way of life – therefore no headaches, no creditors calling for payments, no stress, no interest on balance owing, no foreclosure on homes, no car or furniture repossessions: the list could be endless if budgets are strictly adhered to of course. This discipline can also lead to feeling really competent, to feelings of peace and joy in one’s spirit, a boost in self-esteem that one is able to budget with undue headaches.
Sticking to one’s guns, so to speak, does not come easy to everyone – but there is no harm in trying and getting the family involved. The more the merrier. Share the burden and share the rewards.