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Discussion on: Where Did My Money Go

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nextzachsaid profile image
Zachary

Even if you’re not keeping a budget I highly recommend doing some basic bookkeeping. plaintextaccounting.org is a good resource for basic double-entry accounting principles and tools. Something like Ledger, or one if it’s many forks and derivatives, is a really easy, portable, understandable, yet still very powerful tool for tracking your finances.

I also have to disagree, in general terms, about using cash instead of a credit card. In many situations cash is simply not an option (online or otherwise remote or subscription services
) and using something like a debit card instead can put your entire bank account at risk (assuming US laws and regulations). If you think having some fraudulent credit card charges is a pain then just wait till someone’s drained your checking account and it takes the bank a few weeks to sort things out. Using a credit card also allows you to float a month’s worth of expenses. Another thing to keep in mind is that just because you don’t have a credit card doesn’t mean than your identity can’t be stolen or other lines of credit can’t be opened and abused in your name.

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recursivefaults profile image
Ryan Latta Author

Every merit you have listed on using a debit or credit card is absolutely right. Online shopping is one that is hard to get around, and paying for gas is really obnoxious too.

Many people though will struggle in their budget by continuing to use cards. Its the behavior piece that makes this work. If you are someone who can use their cards in a way that doesn't break the budget, go right ahead.

When people fork over bills their brain responds with pain. When people swipe cards, no such reaction happens. For people trying to adopt new behaviors around spending and a budget, this is a powerful tool.