Saturday, December 21, 2013

Credit or Debit?

How about cold hard cash from now on?

With the big blow up of news about 40 million credit card numbers being stolen from Target shoppers, I think we are going to return to buying everything with the green stuff in this house. I don't know if our card was stolen, I'm really hoping that I used my Target debit card all the times that I went shopping there during that time frame. I'm pretty sure I did so that I could get the 5% discount each time, and if my Target debit card was stolen, the thieves won't be able to use it anywhere but Target.

I got the card because I was tired of being asked if I wanted to get one each and every time I shopped there, and I never really liked it all that much because of the 3-4 day delay in the charges being posted on my checking account, exactly like if you were writing a check. The Target debit card is basically the same thing as writing a check, it's just a card instead. I balance my checking account almost every day online and it's always been a bit confusing having to highlight those charges in my checkbook and then go back and look to see if they've cleared. So, I've been thinking about cancelling that card anyway and certainly will now. The only advantage to the Target debit card is that you can go shopping the day before payday when you are absolutely broke and know that you have a few days leeway.

I never use my credit card for ordinary shopping, only for things like dental bills or other emergency type stuff so I'm not worried about that card, but my regular debit card, you know, the one where if they get my pin number they can wipe out my savings account, gets used all over the place almost every day.

But, I don't think so anymore.

Keith and I were talking about figuring about how much money we need each week for groceries and cat food, toilet paper, and gas for the car, and have decided to just withdraw that much money each week and go back to cash and only cash for all our purchases. I think it might just actually save us money, because if you only have a certain amount of cash in your wallet, you can't spend more than what you have. Not like with your debit card where you have a vague idea of how much money is in the bank and you figure you can buy that magazine you see at the checkout or whatever and it'll all work out in the end. With cash only, you've got to keep a running total of what's in your basket so you have enough to cover it.

We'll try it and see how it works. We've already done it with gas money, never ever using the debit card at the pump after seeing how easy it is for thieves to put those card readers inside of them.

Seriously, if cyber thieves put all that cunning to work on good things instead of bad, think of how much could be accomplished in this world.

So, almost Christmas, but you wouldn't know it in our house! No lights, no trees, no gingerbread men to be found anywhere. This year, it's going to be just another day as far as we are concerned. We did send a few small gifts out in the mail, but not even the cats are getting stockings this year. When you don't have kids in the house and the fur kids don't know Christmas from any other day of the year, and you don't like to cook so you're not making a big Christmas dinner, it just seems kind of silly to get all decorated up. Keith will undoubtedly be working anyway, so we've decided to just go out for a nice lunch or dinner sometime in the next week or two and that will be the extent of our festivities for this year.

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