Reduce Spending By Writing Goals On Your Credit Cards

Have trouble keeping yourself from swiping the plastic? One way to cut down on mindless transacting is to take a sharpie and scribble your money goals on your credit card. They will stare at you the next time you pull it out.

For instance, you could write, “get debt free,” “vacation” or “death ray.” That way the next time you go to use the credit card, you might get jolted into rethinking that purchase decision.

Other people say they put their credit card in a paper sleeve with their kids faces on it to make them think twice when buying on credit. Post-it notes work too, and have the benefit of being non-permanent.

Curb Spending By Writing Goals on Credit Cards [Bargaineering]


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  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Some credit card companies let you customize your card to have whatever picture you want. Perhaps you should get one of your mother with a stern look on her face.

  2. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Have trouble keeping yourself from swiping the plastic?

    No. I don’t have “the plastic” in the first place. I wouldn’t have trouble keeping myself from swiping it if I had it, because it is unnatural to me to live in constant debt.

    YMMV, but don’t come after me like I advised beheading to prevent brain tumors.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      It is also unnatural for me to live in debt – I have plenty of “the plastic” but I’ve never carried a balance. This post is clearly intended for people who have a money management or spending problem – the credit card isn’t to blame, it’s the person.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Same, never had a CC debt. But, I want to get new energy efficient windows but don’t have the cash. It’s in my best interest to do it for the long run, what with rebates and all that expire thi year. Yet, what’s stopping me is having a CC balance month over month. It kind of scares me.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Hm that sucks. Does the window company offer a payment plan?

          • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

            Even if they “don’t do that,” ask them. They might. Don’t get sucked into using “their” finance company, though, unless you’ve worked with that finance company before and you like them.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            I haven’t decided on a contractor or anything. But typically, payment in full is required once the job is 100% finished. It’s still a “debt” though, even if it’s interest-free. I’ve only done THAT once, and in that instance I could have paid off the balance immediately but decided to spread it out becuase of their interest-free CC offer. I haven’t even used the card since.

        • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

          I don’t have anything against getting a specific loan for a specific purpose, so long as the numbers make sense. That doesn’t feel like “living in constant debt,” because I’m making continual progress on working down the balance. Buying a house with a mortgage, for example, does not make sense for me right now. Borrowing the money to finance the deductible for dental work, that made sense, it was worth it, and I have a single payment left on that. Borrowing to improve your living space, you do the cost-benefit analysis, but since you would get significant price breaks and you need to do it anyway, I could consider it “good debt.”

          If it was customary, if we could train ourselves, to view revolving credit as a series of signature loans for major, necessary purposes, I could get behind that. Not all the way behind that, but mostly.

    • photoguy622 says:

      Yahoo to sanity! Been there, done that, have the statements, not going back!

  3. DariusC says:

    Yeah, and what about those of us without kids? I cannot think of anything that would jolt me into not using my card, especially when I purchase those meritline deals… 1 dollar and free shipping… really? Can anyone say no to that?!

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      LOL. I know what you mean. I windowshop DealExtreme quite a bit, myself.

      See, I do really understand. Credit impairs our ability to understand that if we buy something, the cash is going to be unavailable for something else. It’s far removed from observing the cash going out of our account and understanding that it isn’t there to spend anymore. Developing the sense that “spending is the opposite of saving” is surprisingly hard to master.

      Mom brought the idea home to me when I was little. She asked me whether I would rather have a cookie now or a piece of chocolate cake later, provided that I could not have both. Until I was four, it was the cookie every time, LOL… but when I was older, I understood that by waiting a little I could have something better later. And the same is true of money. That’s the point of the original post.

      What is so worth waiting for that you would forgo the pleasure of the dollar deal for it? Anything? If the answer is that you really can’t do without the dollar deal thrill, then I don’t have a problem with that if it’s really what makes you happy.

  4. jessjj347 says:

    An old woman I know writes what things she will buy with that specific credit card, e.g. groceries, gas, etc.

  5. Horselady says:

    Excellent ideas here.

    For awhile I had a sticky note on my debit card that said,
    “Is it gas or groceries?”

    to remind me that’s all I wanted to
    use my debit card for.

  6. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Come to think of it, this works well for diets, too. I have a sign on my fridge that says, “Stop – are you actually hungry?” Damned if it doesn’t stop me in my tracks. Working from home a lot, you and your mouth get bored and look around for something to do…

  7. areaman says:

    This sounds like something advice to people who have serious issues with smoking, drinking, drugs or gambling.

  8. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    I wrote “Ten Kabillion Gazilion Doallars” on my card.

  9. human_shield says:

    I write “U R BROKE” in the signature line. It’s a helpful reminder.

  10. mariex05 says:

    Another trick to saving money is to put the credit card in a glass of water then stick it in the freezer, so if you need to use the card, it’ll take a lot of work.

  11. WorkingDad says:

    What an interesting idea. I’m gonna see if my wife will let me write our goals on her CCs.

  12. RandomHookup says:

    I tried the trick of writing my goals on a credit card, but the gal at Burger King got offended at a Visa with “GET LAID” written on it in 3 inch tall letters.

  13. AllanG54 says:

    People, grow up. Have some willpower. If you need reminders on what you can and can’t spend money on all the time then just have someone else buy all your stuff for you and you won’t have to go through all this crap.