Debit cards. Our generation’s version of “The Electric Slide”. Oh, how I have mastered that slide, as most of you reading this have as well. My debit card ( let’s call her “Debbie”) is very convenient. Debbie buys me gas and groceries. She has taken me on trips and wined and dined me. Debbie is essentially my sugar momma and I love it, or rather loved it. See the thing about Debbie is, she used my money to buy me things. Not only that but that saucy minx didn’t even bother to balance my checkbook either. The result: Going to my account online thinking there would be $800.00, and alas, only finding $200.00. Oh Debbie!
This brings me to my first lesson that I have learned and want to share will all my “reader” (Hi Mom)!
Frugoal Lesson #1: Never let anyone but YOU think with YOUR money.
While I was recently ice skating with a friend of mine, who happens to work at a very small bank in the area, we started talking about debit cards and overdraft fees. My friend, let’s call her “Bianca” (her face reads like more of a “Heather”, but her hair is very”Bianca”ish) since she still works at this itty bitty bank, informed me that this bank makes over $100,000.00 a month in overdraft fees!! Did I mention that this is a small bank. Can you then imagine what a Wells Fargo, or BofA makes a month? Too many zeros for this lady to count (not because I can’t, but because of sheer laziness. Just wanted to clarify). How many of us are letting our Debbie’s do the thinking for us? How many of us have let Debbie leave us with a $35.00 overdraft charge, or more? How many of us let Debbie use us, abuse us, whisper sweet nothings in our ear, while leaving us with nothing in our checking accounts? Well this gal isn’t taking it anymore. Time to get reacquainted with a past lover of mine called the checkbook (let’s call him “Chuck”). Don’t get me wrong, Debbie and I will never part ways, it’s just I am now running into the arms of Chuck. Yes, Chuck is slower, bigger and more work, but Chuck also would always make it easy to see where my finances were going and how much money I had left to spend. I’m sorry Chuck, please take me back and we can figure this out together. As for Debbie, that chick works for me now. Yes, she is easier and accessible, but now I’m only using her on my terms.
So let’s all fall back in love with Chuck, only use Debbie when we have to, and no more overdraft fees for any of us.
Lastly, next time you are in line at the grocery store and see someone whip out there Chuck (oooh, that sounds bad, let’s change “Chuck” back to checkbook). Let’s try this again…next time you are in line at the grocery store and see someone whip out there checkbook, don’t start cursing silently or rolling your eyes. Instead, give them a slow clap, an epic slow clap. Then, before you are asked to leave the store for acting like you are intoxicated, give them a pat on the back and say “way to go sport”, or “great job being smart with your money”, or something far more clever, but you get the point.