Swipe. Ding. Another purchase made using contactless payment.
Oh, the sweet sound of convenience, right?
Still, are you feeling a bit out of control deep down? Do you feel your money is leaving your bank account faster than you can say ‘swipe, ding’?
I know. I felt the same.
I swiped and found that my weekly shop costs are 8% higher.
Contactless payment technology has made it easier than ever to spend without thinking, leaving many of us drowning in a sea of impulse buys and budget trouble.
But what if I told you there’s a way to win the battle for your wallet?
Here are some unconventional, and (dare I say) life-changing tips to help you overcome the overspending trap of contactless payment habits.
Are you ready to tackle overspending in entirely different ways?
What is Contactless Payment?
Contactless payment, my friend, is the reason you can pay for that pint in a blink of an eye.
It’s the technology that allows us to pay by waving or taping our cards, smartphones, or smartwatches near a payment terminal. We don’t need to go through the ritual of cash payments or remember our PIN.
Unfortunately, the convenience of contactless payments can lead to overspending.
Here is why.
Do you Know That You Spend More When Using Credit Cards?
Ever wondered why it’s so easy to splurge when using a credit card?
No, it is not just your impression. It is true.
A recent study found that when customers were encouraged to use their credit cards their willingness to pay increased by up to 100%. Another study demonstrated that people spend 12-18% more when using credit cards.
Why is that?
We can go for a simple explanation – using credit cards deal away with our liquidity constraints. Put simply, we don’t worry about money so much.
However, this is only part of the picture.
The rest has to do with the tricks our brains play.
Research suggests that when we use credit cards, our brains don’t register it as “real money” successfully bypassing the ‘pain of paying’.
Decoupling payment from emotion also means that you are more likely to focus on the benefits of the purchase than the cost.
Here you have it – making paying easier and more convenient exploits psychological loopholes that make you overspend.
This works when using credit cards. It works so much better when using contactless payment.
Here is how to fight back.
7 Unconventional Tips to Avoid Contactless Payment Overspending
#1. Embrace “Digital Cash Envelopes”
You might’ve heard of the cash envelope system, where you allocate a specific amount of cash to different spending categories.
Well, let’s give it a 21st-century twist. Use budgeting apps to create virtual “envelopes” for various categories like groceries, entertainment, and clothing.
Limit your contactless payments to the designated amounts, mimicking cash-based budgeting. You’ll feel the pinch of your digital wallet getting lighter, and that’ll help keep your spending in check.
You can try budgeting apps like You Need a Budget (YNAB), Goodbudget, and Money Dashboard (UK-specific). If you bank with Monzo, you can use their app to set up pots.
#2. Create a Contactless Payment “Speed Bump”
Ever wished you had a moment to stop and think before tapping that card?
Well, now you can. Pause briefly before making contactless purchases to reflect on the necessity of the item. Develop a mantra or personal question like, “Do I really need this?” or “Will this bring me joy in the long run?” to help evaluate your purchase decisions.
You might just find yourself putting that tempting item back on the shelf.
#3. Leverage the “Reverse Bucket List” Technique
Instead of listing all the things you want to buy, why not create a list of financial accomplishments?
Track your progress towards goals like saving for a vacation, paying off debt, or building an emergency fund. Use contactless payments as a means to celebrate milestones, rather than for impulsive spending.
It’s a win-win: you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of ticking off your goals and keeping your spending in check.
#4. Experiment with “Spend-Free Days”
Ready for a challenge?
Designate specific days where no contactless payments are allowed. Zip, zero, nada. Use these days to focus on free or low-cost activities, fostering gratitude and contentment.
You’ll be amazed at how resourceful you can be when you put your mind to it. Plus, you’ll start to appreciate the value of every hard-earned dollar.
#5. Connect with a “Spending Buddy”
Sharing is caring, right?
Share your contactless spending habits with a trusted friend or family member. Offer mutual support and encouragement for conscious spending decisions.
It’s easier to stay accountable when you have someone in your corner, rooting for your financial success.
#6. Turn “Retail Therapy” into “Goal Therapy”
We all know the rush of buying something new, but let’s face it: that feeling is fleeting.
Instead of reaching for the contactless payment, try replacing impulsive spending with activities that align with your personal values and long-term goals. Want to learn a new language? Try a free app or language exchange. Craving some quality time with friends? Host a potluck or movie night at home.
By cultivating a sense of achievement and satisfaction without relying on material possessions, you’ll be less likely to fall into the overspending trap.
#7. Celebrate Mindful Contactless Payment Choices
Let’s take a moment to pat ourselves on the back, shall we?
Acknowledge instances where you successfully avoided overspending and stuck to your budget. Use the money saved to invest in experiences, personal growth, or a “financial reward” fund.
It’s essential to celebrate the small wins, reminding ourselves that we have the power to make positive changes in our spending habits.
And the Contactless Overspending Tip to Beat Them All… Learn to Want Less.
It might sound counterintuitive, but sometimes the best way to avoid contactless overspending is to simply desire less.
Consider this – the less we crave material possessions, the less likely we are to be lured by the siren song of contactless payments.
Focus on what truly matters to you – experiences, relationships, personal growth – and watch as your impulse to spend dwindles.
It’s not about denying ourselves the things we want; it’s about re-evaluating what we truly value and finding fulfillment in those areas.
Here is a simple exercise that can help you teach yourself to want less. It helped me when I needed it!
Contactless Payment: You Can Have the Convenience Without the Overspending
Yes, armed with the unconventional tips I shared, you’re ready to tackle contactless overspending like a boss.
Let’s take a moment to recap the benefits of embracing these strategies:
- You’ll develop a more mindful relationship with contactless technology,
- Avoid the pitfalls of impulse buying, and
- Learn to focus on what truly matters – value-driven purchases and experiences.
Sounds awesome, right?
So, what are you waiting for? You’ve got the tools, the knowledge, and the determination to make it happen.
Believe in yourself and take that first step – your wallet and the future you will thank you.
Now, go out there and show the world who’s in control!
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash