Paper money is just the shade of green that compliments every complexion!

Respect your money, respect yourself.  This is the mantra that carries economic professionals through high times and hard times alike.  Learn to manage your resources and you direct your own future.  A common tip doled out for people learning to be more responsible with money is to only spend paper money for your everyday expenditures.  This helps take the abstract aspect out of spending money.  Here’s how to do it:

  1. Make a budget of what spending money you need.  Allocate money to groceries, errands, gas, shopping, parking, etc.  Write down an estimation of how much you need for the week and how that amount is rationed out.
  2. Withdraw cash for the amount of your budget.
  3. Organize it neatly in your wallet.  Large bills to small bills. Change completely separate.
  4. Pay for your purchases with paper money only.
  5. At the end of the day, take your paper money out of your wallet, count it, flatten bills, turn right side up, and order it neatly back in one pocket of your wallet.
  6. Place change from the day in a piggy bank.
Here are reasons to do it:
No more guesswork: Ever hand over a debit card unsure exactly how much money is available on it?  I used to do this a lot in college, and even now towards the end of the month it still happens occasionally.  When you use cash you need only look in your nicely organized wallet to see your financial status.
Assessment of worth: Using plastic methods of payment makes it easier to use the “just take it” method of shopping.  We cover our eyes with one hand while we hold out a credit card with the other. You know how much you’ve paid, but it’s just a number.  It lacks concrete meaning.  When you hold out a fifty dollar bill, that means something.  You were holding the bill in your hand, and then you gave it away in return for something else that you take with you.  You had money. Now you don’t. You know exactly where it went.

Easy Way Out: I dread going out for dinner with large groups of people solely because of the stress that comes when paying a check.  No one ever has cash and you end up with a long list of credit card numbers with cash amounts written next to them on the back of a receipt.  Everyone is trying to do the math, figure out tax and tip, and make it clear what they’re paying for. Not only does the server hate his life as he has to sort through everyone’s separate payments, but everyone in the party gets antsy waiting for their cards and receipts to come back.  I now try to take cash so that I can leave as soon as I want.  If you know how much your share costs, you can leave before the check comes.

No Sir Charges: Businesses love to nickel and dime you however they can.  Charges for using ATM Machines, gas pumps, and purchases under a certain amount are fairly common.  Having adequate cash on hand alleviates that cost.

Bank Accountability: If you are only making a few large withdrawals and paying steady monthly bills, then it is easier to check your bank statements for accuracy.  Banks love it when customers buy all the time with their debit cards because it’s often done without self-regulation.

Remember in the Great Gatsby how Daisy’s voice was so charming because it sounded like money? Movie starts and celebrities are so attractive many times because they have the means to prepare themselves to appear that way.  Whether we like to acknowledge it or not, money is a big part of who we are.  It determines where we go, what we do, what we wear, how we eat, and often who we see.  It is a major influence of how others view us and how we view ourselves.  Therefore, we must make it a priority to care for our money as we want to care for ourselves. We must respect and care for our financial well-being.