Week 15 of 80 – Not Impressed With Our Debt – Buying on Autopilot

two person holding credit card closeup photo

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As we get older we tend to get more forgetful they say. I say we are just getting more and more distracted by stuff around us.

We women especially have so many things going through our brains that we tend to do things on autopilot. Am I right ladies?

A great example of this autopilot thing is constantly misplacing my debit card. Yikes, right? Misplacing ones debit card is never good and trying to figure out where the hell you last had it is even worse.

I misplace my debit card at least once a month. I hate my debit card. I want to use cash again exclusively but that card is so darn convenient.

So how do I misplace my debit card so often you ask? Shouldn’t it be in my wallet which is in my purse? I hate purses and wallets too. I am a “carry it in my back pocket” kind of girl. I wouldn’t even own a purse if I didn’t need it to carry my chapstick and gum.

Here in lies the problem. I take my debit card out to pay for something on-line and forget to put it back. I take it out to pay for my lunch at the store because I don’t want to lug my purse with me into the breakroom then I forget to put it back. Then it gets washed because I forget to take it out of my pocket at the end of the day and God forbid but my husband refuses to check pockets before he puts things in the washing machine. Yes, I know it’s my own fault.

The other day after missing it for almost a week I found it in a pair of pants I didn’t even wear because I was too lazy to iron them. I have no idea why I would even put it in those pants but it happened. And then I lost it again a week later but found it in my stupid purse in a pocket I swear I checked at least three times. I think God just thinks it’s a hoot watching me search for it.

So what does this all have to do with debt other than it’s funny hearing about my debit card follies?

Going through life, especially when it comes to managing your debt on autopilot is part of our debt problem. We are not paying attention to our money. We have no idea sometimes where it goes or what we have spent it on.

Sometimes I ask my husband where the money went that he had yesterday and he usually says he has no idea. In fact he took a friend to breakfast a few weeks ago and when I saw the bill it was over $50. For breakfast? What the heck did you eat?? I asked him. We tried to figure out what would have cost that much and seriously couldn’t figure it out. How easy was it to just swipe that debit card? He was just on autopilot, probably chatting away and just added a tip and signed his name, not even looking at the bill.

We all spend our money frivolously and on autopilot at times. Every day we go to the same coffee shop, and buy our gas at the same gas station or take our books back to the library and pay a $1 fine and not think a thing of it.

I think that’s why when we talk about debt we aren’t spending money on large purchases most of the time. It’s the autopilot purchases that really get us into trouble. Large purchases we think about first and plan for and try to get the best price. Our vacations, vehicles, homes and furniture are planned items.

I have been seeing posts on Instagram lately from people that are using cash envelopes for their monthly spending. We used to use cash envelopes and it worked great. We were mostly debt free too. However, this was before easy access to on-line shopping and smart phones, which are huge contributing factors to debt for all of us.

Here is a challenge for you: when you are buying something, anything, pay attention to what you are doing. Just be aware. Don’t buy your groceries while talking to your best friend on your cell phone. Don’t go shopping at the mall and get up to the counter to pay for that new sweater all the while searching for your husband’s Christmas gift on Amazon on your phone. In fact put your phone in your purse and say hello to the cashier and pay attention to what you are buying and how much it costs.

I will have to attach a large key chain to my debit card like the ones you get at a gas station when you want to use the bathroom. Seriously!

restroom keychain

See you next time! -MM