Would you buy that extra coffee if you had to go to the bank, line up and get cash out? Probably not. But it’s not so long ago that you would have had to do just that. When it comes to paying for things, we’ve come along way since 1977 when the first ATM was installed in Australia. Eftpos machines were introduced shortly after in 1986 and from then on it’s continued to get easier and easier for us to hand over our cash. The latest ‘convenience’ of course, is paywave.
The reality of course, is that Paywave means that it now takes close to zero effort to pay for stuff. Most concerning is that it’s easier than ever to make small purchases using your credit card which means that as you blissfully tap away every morning to buy your morning coffee thinking it won’t make much difference you’re also gearing yourself up to be hit with a massive interest charge.
It’s worth mentioning that paywave doesn’t equal mindless spending for everybody. For some people, not having excess cash in their wallet actually means that they spend less. But for most people, tap and go is a oneway ticket to spendsville.
I’m not suggesting we abolish paywave, but what I am suggesting is that we should all pause and consider the effect it is having on our spending habits.
I’ve come up with the following strategies:
- Check you bank account at the end of the week, note down your paywave purchases and add them up. This simple act can open your eyes to what you’re spending and make you think twice about those luxury items.
- Switch it up! If you regularly make use of paywave, why not try operating for a week on cash. Withdraw your pocket money from the ATM at the beginning of the week so you know how much you’ve got to work with and see if it has any impact on your spending habits.
- Try and refrain from paywaving your credit card and stick to debit only. Small purchases on your credit card will add up quickly and you’ll be whacked with a massive interest charge before you know it.
- Be aware that the introduction of paywave has resulted in a rise in identity theft. If you lose your card, make sure you report the loss straight away.