Who was the first person to conceive of the idea of the credit card? I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank him – or her – for allowing me to always spend money, even when I don’t really have any. As I’m sure most of you can probably guess, I do in fact have the 16-digit identification code of my credit card permanently committed to memory right along side other important numbers like my social security code and 911. My parents learned very, very quickly that I can never be trusted with the credit card, but they still have yet to find a way to stop me.
For myself, and others who suffer from compulsive shopping, credit cards are a risky commodity. This little unimposing piece of plastic has the power to single handedly skew any realistic perception of a balanced budget. Throw the Internet into this troublesome mix and just start waving goodbye to your money now.
One tried and true method, for those predisposed to shopping addictions, is to pay with cash for everything. The actual money acts as a physical reminded of how much one is spending. In her news article for CNN, regarding the dangers of compulsive buying, Elizabeth Landau writes, “One strategy that helps some compulsive shoppers curb their habits is to pay in cash, so they see how much they’re spending” (Landau). Great, problem fixed! I can finally say good riddance to this pesky little problem. But wait, it must have slipped my mind that you cannot pay with cash over the Internet. Until some genius invents an application that can suck your money into the computer and transport it halfway across the country, all online shoppers are going to be stuck using credit cards. In traditional stores, credit cards are dangerous enough, but over the Internet one can very easily forget the value of a dollar and buy everything her heart desires, only to realize the consequences of debt when the bills come at the end of the month.
The more you know, the less money you’ll throw.
Landau, Elizabeth. “Compulsive Shopping: When Spending is like Substance Abuse.” CNN 3 Jan. 2012: n. pag. Print.