Mindful Money: Keep Control with Cash

Jun 10, 2024


With cash, transactions are not only private but also immediately visible and tangible. Reporter Cassy Arsenault explains how ‘exhausted’ brains can be supported in making better spending decisions with cash.

Writing for FOX 28 Columbus, Arsenault warns that ‘frictionless transactions’ made by cashless methods discourage people from keeping track of ‘how much is flying out of their wallet per month’. This, she points out, is very much by design.

You’re not the problem. It’s not that you can’t control yourself… We have a lot of systems that are set up for people to overspend, under save, and live a more financially stressed out life.
"Sarah Grace Mohr, CEO, Mackey & The Prosperity People

Indeed, ‘the draining of our accounts happens without us even taking out our debit cards,’ with apps and services such as Amazon, Apple Pay and Uber enabling expenditure with little to no thought. Arsenault notes US consumers spent a record $19 trillion in December 2023, up six percent from the year before. ‘Despite high interest rates, and repeated commentary from economists that this can’t continue, it still does.’

Our brains are exhausted, so we take shortcuts. We don’t think critically about most of the decisions we make in a day. We just make our quick, easy boom, boom, boom.
"Sarah Grace Mohr, CEO, Mackey & The Prosperity People

What is the solution to this mindless overspending? Arsenault’s top recommendation is to carry cash, as ‘a physical reminder of your spending limit.’ Many young people—inspired by countless social media posts on the time-honoured method of ‘cash stuffing’—are already using more physical money, less plastic and fewer apps to keep control of their budgets.

An added bonus is keeping personal data private, and never having to worry that a forgotten PIN, a drained battery or a network outage will get in the way of purchases!

Last Updated: Jun 10, 2024