The Rock Garden had to hire a new babysitter a few weeks back who wanted to get paid in cash rather than by check. The Rockette works 18 hours a week as a Registered Dietitian Consultant and would now be handing over the cash on Friday afternoons instead of me writing a check with the bills. The second week she had to hand over $212 in cash to our new babysitter and it hurt. Normally, I would have written a check and not given it too much extra thought, but this time it hurt. The Rockette had something tangible to help visualize all the money the was being spent. The intangibility of the babysitting services made even more of a stark contrast. The same principle works in reverse for credit cards. Since we can’t see or feel the money leaving our hands, it is often easier to overlook the real cost of what you are buying and charge more than you would have paying cash.
So how did we save money? Well, we decided that she would get into work an hour earlier each day the babysitter is there, which save us an hour each day on the back end. $24 dollars saved a week, just because paying cash hurt. Sure, we have to get to an ATM each week to make sure we have cash and the Rockette has to get up a little earlier, but those two simple changes will save us over $1,100 in a year.