I am sure at some time in our bill-paying lives each of us has stared at a lengthy itemization of a credit card statement and wondered, “How did I get so bound to a piece of plastic?” We try planning, we try limits. There are books, magazines, and even consultants on the issue. I’ve tried the simple solution of filling my wallet with cash. Yet those palm-sized, perfectly-proportioned wonders of technology are so easy to whip out
For those of you who have the same problem when it comes to that little piece of plastic in your wallet, here are five simple solutions for this “easy money” problem.
A common method is to freeze your card. Fill a coffee can with water, drop your card in, and gently place the can in the freezer. Actually, it might work better if you weren’t so gentle and placed the can in a puddle of spilled water. You wouldn’t have to just wait all afternoon for the block of ice in the can to melt (metal can’t go in the microwave), you’d have to defrost your whole freezer. Talk about planning And the choices – sacrifice the peas just to do some shopping, or make a run out to the convenience store for a block of ice and a cooler?
If you are looking to spread the joy around, you can give your credit card to your pet and let him use it as a chew toy. You’ll be amazed at how much fun he’ll have with it while helping you have second thoughts of ever using it. The old “my dog ate it” excuse didn’t work in school and it’s unlikely to work when you hand a mauled piece of plastic to the cashier. Not only will the credit card be unusable after he gets through with it, you’ll also save money by not needing to purchase a chew toy for him.
Turn your credit card over and see the strip on the back? You can always demagnetize it. If you run your magnet strip over a nice, neodymium magnet, you will easily lose the ability to scan and walk. This means no more self-check, no more instant cash. Each of those numbers is going to have to be punched in, and you will have to stand flushed and antsy as the cashier tries and tries again to get it right, and the people behind you give you dirty looks before they eventually move, muttering, to other lines. Who needs the attention?
Start tampering with your credit cards. By punching a hole in your name, or scratching off the signature bar, you can cause the cashier doubt at your identity. Who’s going to believe “Yeah, I just scratched up my signature spot so I’d be more reluctant to use my card?” No, this one is the perfect dis-utility. They’ll demand other payment. Heck, they might even confiscate your card for you.
If tampering just doesn’t seem to be enough to dissuade you from using your credit card, you can always take it a step further and destroy the card. While scissors come in handy and a shredder can do the job quite well, if you choose this method you might as well go all out and blend it:
No matter how many time you attempt to hand retailers a pile of plastic shreddings, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to leave the store with what you had hoped to purchase.
And when you’re really desperate, you could just call in and report your card stolen. This fix is temporary, however, as the company is usually too pleased to send you a new one and charge you for it. However, in a time of your greatest need, a card that is reported stolen won’t be authorized. They cancel your number, and you can mope away red-faced, and empty handed, hopefully without handcuffs.
Not everyone is rehabilitatable when it comes to managing credit card debt. Refer to this list when your will-power and self-esteem are low and when drastic measures are needed to keep your credit card use in line.
Image courtesy of chrisforsyth