As more Australian women embrace a rapidly growing cashless society, is there a risk that this could damage our ability to save?
Some money experts argue that it’s easier to budget by keeping track of real cash rather than using cashless transactions, be they digital or plastic ones.
But I disagree, particularly as new technologies are pushing us to abandon physical cash and most of us are probably already doing this 90 per cent of the time.
There are many ways that going cashless can be used as a great tool for budgeting and it’s certainly not something to be afraid of. Here’s why.
Budget your expenditure for everyday essentials
If you have a weekly or monthly shopping budget you would like to stick too, you can use gift cards for things like grocery shopping to assist with a maximum spend, while avoiding overspending on spontaneous purchases.
With e-wallets such as those offered by Google, PayPal, Apple and Visa, you can store multiple gift cards on your phone so they are always with you.
As with anything, it’s important that you read the terms and conditions of your gift card to ensure you can plan the best way to utilise it, however it means that gift cards are less likely to be lost or expire and your money won’t go to waste.
No more panic gift buying
We’ve all been there when desperately trying to find the perfect gift and not being able to find exactly what we’re looking for. In a panic, we end up spending far more than we had hoped or budgeted.
Using an option like e-giving also takes the hassle out of trying to find gifts and allows you to set and stick to your present giving budget without a panic button in sight.
The receiver can spend time choosing a gift they really want. You can purchase these gifts at the start of the year once you’ve decided on your yearly gifting budget for special occasions.
Purchase from the comfort of your home
Avoid the cost of travelling to the shops, the parking and the extra bits you pick up as a result.
Instead, you can e-gift online, any time of day or night and save yourself time and money. You can choose gift cards that suit your lifestyle and shop at a time and place that is convenient to you.
Avoid unnecessary expenses
Buying a gift means you then also need to purchase a card and wrapping plus the gift might need extras like batteries or some tea to go with those tea cups! A few dollars here and there can certainly add up over the year.
Budgeting for personal expenses like bills and groceries is something commonly spoken about at the start of the year, but it is also important to budget for gifting to ensure it doesn’t get out of hand.
Setting limits and keeping a sharp eye on the spending will very much help with getting one step closer to that 2017 goal for the new car or that overseas holiday.
Many of us aren’t carrying plastic notes anymore, rather we’re likely to have a wallet filled with credit and debit cards, loyalty cards, membership cards – the list goes on.
We are now seeing bitcoin and crypto- currencies becoming more mainstream.
Cash road tolls are becoming obsolete and most drivers would now have toll tags that they top up online.
Local train/bus systems are also becoming cashless with the introduction of Opal and Myki cards.
When we talk about the ways we are becoming a cashless society – it’s like looking down the rabbit hole. It’s the future.
Physical cash obviously still exists, but when you look at all the rapid mobile technology advancements, going completely cashless may be closer than we think.