Saving money by paying on card

I’ve been experimenting a little over the last few weeks, and one strategy I’ve found initially went against my better judgment, but seems to work: I’ve been buying everything, however small, on card instead of cash. Basically, I took £20 out at the beginning of the week, but paid for everything, right down to my work lunch, on my card.

I thought this would leave me worse off, since I’ve always had a tendency to feel bad about paying for a £2 meal on my card, so I’d buy a few extra bits to round it up. I dealt with this by using a card that only has about £50 available on it, so I’ve had to watch my spending. Because I’ve only had a £20 note as cash, there’s been no urge to pop to the vending machine for a snack, or pop in the pub on the way home because I’ve got a few quid change

It worked! I had that same £20 from Monday still in my wallet last night – usually, when I break a note, the change either goes in the jar or isn't thought of as 'real money' so it just gets wasted, so I'd usually need at least 3 visits a week to the cashpoint, taking £20 out each time.

Last night was sign language class and my excuse for getting out for an hour, so I spent £11 in the pub afterwards. I still managed to resist going to the chippy, and put the £4 change into the jar instead, so now I’m just carrying a £5 note with me. I’ve been watching my spending on the card, and I’ve spent £13 on that all week, for a total weeks spend of £28, including the £4 that went into the jar. That’s well under half what I’d usually spend during a work week, so I thought I’d share this tip in case anyone else finds it handy :)


  • Ches
    Ches Forumite Posts: 1,120 Forumite
    I had considered this as an alternative to always using cash as I find the cash just slithers away without me knowing exactly where its gone. I had considered keeping £20 cash in my purse each week and putting everything else on a card ie. groceries/hairdresser etc and paying £80 of the card every week (easy to do in M&S). It might stop me from the odds and sods spending that quickly mounts up as I would think twice about putting small amounts on card. I might give it a try for June and see where I go.
    Mortgage and Debt free but need to increase savings pot. :think:
  • Jugers
    Jugers Forumite Posts: 31 Forumite
    This is a great idea and can really work
  • paulofessex
    paulofessex Forumite Posts: 1,728 Forumite
    I also saved money by having my local evening paper delivered. I used to stop off at the local shop on way home to buy it, which of course lead to me buying more things i.e. chocolate or snacks.

    The additonal delivery cost is nothing to how much l save now, let alone the extra pounds l now avoid adding to the wasitline
  • Sagz_2
    Sagz_2 Forumite Posts: 6,251
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I hardly ever used 'real' money, and haven't done for at least 15 years.
    It certainly stops me spending on little things, and as we all know the little things add up all too quickly!
    Some days you're the dog..... most days you're the tree! :D
  • Erme
    Erme Forumite Posts: 3,597
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped! Debt-free and Proud!
    Cash is king....sagz you need a medal if you can manage your finances like that. Sure you're the exception and not the rule

    I believe in the power of PAD
    Come and join us on the Payment a Day thread
  • timbstoke
    timbstoke Forumite Posts: 987
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
    Erme wrote: »
    Cash is king....sagz you need a medal if you can manage your finances like that. Sure you're the exception and not the rule


    I think it's an approach that's becoming a lot easier with the introduction of self-service checkouts. I always hated the idea of being that person with a £2 order paying by card. Self service checkouts mean that a) I don't get a dirty look off the checkout person, and b) people are queuing for any one of 4-6 tills, so I'm not holding up the person behind me.
  • castleton
    castleton Forumite Posts: 320
    Part of the Furniture
    I use an M&S credit card and pay for everything on it no matter how small. It is paid off at the end of every month in full. I therefore pay no interest and get vouchers which I spend at M&S when things are reduced and on offer. It is suprising how the mount up.
  • jamescooker1
    jamescooker1 Forumite Posts: 8 Forumite
    sounds a really good idea. i will try this week ,see how much i can save.
  • onlyroz
    onlyroz Forumite Posts: 17,661
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    You could also try slow stoozing - so get a credit card with 0% on purchases, and use this to buy everything. You then put an equivalent amount into a savings account - and pay off the card at the end of the 0% period.
  • deefin
    deefin Forumite Posts: 597 Forumite
    edited 12 July 2011 at 1:01PM
    i use my debit card now instead of cash . shop once a fortnight instread of weekly . sell my old stuff instead of giving it away even if its only worth a few pounds.. befor every purchase i now ask myself do i really need that .., this week ive spent £1 and that was because i loaned that to someone for busfair as they didnt have change ., but i did sell an item yesterday that had been gathering dust for £7 ,, so now i have £6 more than when i started friday befor last
    what ive saved in the two weeks i put in my savings account where it remains untouched ,
    then i start again
    :A official boots tart :A
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 340.1K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.1K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 448.3K Spending & Discounts
  • 231.9K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 603K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 171.6K Life & Family
  • 245.1K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards