The third week of the Cash Challenge with Gerri Willis was revealing. One of the top objections that I have heard from friends and family is the pickle one paying cash would run into while traveling. This past week I traveled and I got to experience these challenges first hand. Here is a list of the challenges I ran into…
Guess what? The airlines kiosks don’t accept cash…therefore, in order to check my bag at the kiosk I had to use my debit card. On my way out, I dealt with an agent directly and I was able to pay her cash…but on my way home I was not so lucky.
Conclusion – Debit card most likely required, unless dealing with an agent directly.
When I checked into the hotel, I asked about putting the incidentals on my debit card. She told me that with debit cards they have to put a freeze on the amount of the room and then some. Since I was staying at a Hyatt and not a Days Inn, let’s just say that the “freeze” amount made my heart skip a beat. It is my estimation that they have to do this with a debit card because it guarantees that the funds are there? Ultimately, I had to utilize my credit card in this situation.
Conclusion – Credit card necessary, unless you have thousands extra sitting in your checking account.
I did not have a rental car, so I was in essence subject to the hotel. I am sure I could have utilized the Wells Fargo bank locator on my phone to find an ATM close by since I was in the heart of downtown, but I did not have the time. I was subject to accessing cash via the bank ATMs which cost me $3.95 a pop! I had to access cash 3 times…that may have been combination of poor planning, figuring out how to use cash while traveling and unexpected expenses. Lesson learned.
Conclusion – Get your cash before you travel to avoid steep ATM fees.
Something else that I noted, but did not run into was the fact that airlines do not accept cash for their snacks and drinks on the plane, so a debit card would be required in this situation too… Ultimately, if you are going to travel, try to outline your daily expenses ahead of time, transfer cash into your checking account and pull the cash from your bank’s local ATM prior to travel to save!
Yesterday marked our first week of the Cash Challenge! We are so thankful to Gerri Willis and FOX Business for allowing us to take this journey with them, it has been an interesting first week filled with various cash adventures.
Week 1 Adventure - Bojour LaCroix!
LaCroix is a sparkling natural drink that was speaking to me off the shelves of Natural Grocers the other night, it was a random purchase. I had picked up my protein powder and then remembered that I also needed to pick up some protein bars for an upcoming trip. Have you ever walked down a “bar” aisle at a natural foods store?! It is Mecca if you are a bar lover…so much to explore, so many fun labels to read…it pretty much rocks my world. On top of this all, it is just fun to eat something called Cookies and Cream and not have it actually consist of Cookies and Cream…ahh yes, welcome to my world. I divert. After I picked up protein bars for my trip, I was craving sparkling water so I walked down the aisle for the drinks and there LaCroix was. I knew of it because a friend of mine drinks it and I have always wanted to try it. I am always on the hunt for a low cal, natural drink…and there it was, I quickly threw it under my arm, as I juggled the protein bars in my other hand. Then I was off to get my jug of protein, somehow I managed to balance this all between my body and both arms.
I unloaded it all onto the belt at checkout…then I had a pit hit my stomach. I realized that I only had cash…and while I did have cash in my wallet, I was not sure if it would cover my purchases. I started to quickly add up my items on the belt as the gal in front of me was checking out, I started to break out in a small sweat as the numbers were being added and I glanced in my wallet to see how much cash I had. I looked behind me to make sure no one was there, the coast was clear. Sure enough…as she ran the last protein bar though I was about $3 over the cash that I had in my wallet!
I think the last time I came up short at a register was when I was 18 and had only the cash in my pocket from waiting tables the night before. Why hadn’t I run out of cash at the register since? Because I always have my trusty credit card! But how trusty is my credit card really, when if I did use it that night, I would have impulse bought a drink that I never drink? Oh, and I forgot to mention that I impulse bought Whey protein samples for Stephen to try… What is it about grocery stores and impulse buys? And I wasn’t even hungry!
This Cash Challenge with Gerri Willis of The Willis Report, has taught me that we are going to SAVE MONEY! Yay, one of our favorite things to do. See…we always had the cash to cover impulses against our budget in the past, but that money is now going to savings! Whereas before, it would go towards “slip ups” over our budget, we are pumped, one penny closer to South America!
Stephen and I are pumped; we have been invited by Gerri Willis with The Willis Report on FOX Business Network to participate in the Cash Challenge!
The main event that spurred this Cash Challenge on was the credit card breach with Target…can consumers live on cash alone again?
Stephen and I are going to find out!
During this Cash Challenge we want to uncover whether or not the stats are true – do people actually spend less money by utilizing cash over credit/debit cards?
Join us live this Tuesday April 1st on the Willis Report at 5 p.m. EST. as we kick off this challenge!
Continue to follow our blog as we document this journey, here is to a great challenge!
In chapter 1 of his book entitled “The Power of Habit,” Charles Duhigg breaks down the concept of a “habit loop”. He describes a habit loop as set routines we get into each day on a subconscious level, some of which are good and others of which are bad. As I was watching this short trailer on his website, I thought of running.
Impulse breeds regret, at least it does for me. Just the other day I heard a story of a gal who recently got her house paid off and decided that it was time for a new car that she has been eyeing, so what did she do? She replaced her $1500 mortgage payment that was for a brief moment eliminated with an $800 car payment. Now, you might be thinking, well, “she is now saving $700 per month!” I disagree. One of the best things that I ever heard was that we are never “saving money” if we did not intend on spending it in the first place…if you didn’t intend to buy a new car when your house was paid off, then you are not saving $700 you are actually now losing $800, totaling $1500 of lost opportunity.
There are many things that a lot of us express we would do if we “had money.” Well, one of those “things” that I would do more of is entertain. I L O V E to entertain, but after the cost of food and drinks, it can get expensive. So, how can you entertain and not break the bank? Here are 4 tips to you for hosting your next summer party on a budget.
My friend, if you haven’t heard of Evite, I am afraid you are living under a rock…
This is a great site to send out your party invitations on without having to write or print them out and get them sent in the mail. While email would suffice, Evite offers you. . .