I have been living without a credit card for nine days now. And it is killing me1.
That is to say, I have been trying to not use the back up credit card from a company I’d rather not deal with, since our card from the very nice bank we belong to was stolen and someone went on a $15K spending spree in Asia2. I still had my debit card for groceries and for getting cash out of holes in walls, but day-um! I had no idea how accustomed I had become to impulse purchases: everything from songs on my phone to books on my Kindle, to random household goods and birthday presents from Amazon. Nine days and I was really feeling the pinch.
A few days ago I cracked and entered the back-up card number into our Netflix account (we don’t have cable, so this is pretty much it if we want to watch anything on the big box), and today I cracked even further and entered the forbidden numbers into a couple of other frequently-used online sources. I rationalize it by saying “I neeeeeed to update my apps” and “I neeeeeed to buy this stuff from Amazon cos it’s more efficient than driving around trying to find this one thing in any one of several different shops.” Recurring monthly purchases are starting to show up now (including a few I didn’t realize I was still making, which is a bonus) and I’m looking at my finances with fresh eyes.
But wow, it felt good to click ‘complete purchase’. I never thought I’d see the day.
It’s interesting. I did not grow up a shopaholic and I’ll tell anyone who’ll listen that “I don’t like to shop” and yet, and yet… Interesting insights for a future fictional character. We are not what we seem: even to ourselves.