I decided this week to try out an experiment I need to get myself back on track with my spending. My credit card provider is cancelling it at the end of September and I will be without a card for the rest of 2023. This means no card in Q4 which is a month that gets spendy particularly with Christmas shopping. I already have anxiety linked to this but this feels like the reset I need before going into the new year.

The background to this is I noticed a strong correlation between me having work stress and gifting others or shopping. As soon as my work stress spikes, logic flies out the window and I start having justified overspending. Since I made the connect, I am able to interrupt this behaviour better but it still happens more often than I want. I currently have a lot of work stress which will increase until the end of the year. My credit card makes it easy to shop what I don’t need and enables my over gifting so not having it in Q4 will be a good control measure to start with. This will also help me determine if I can go completely credit card free in future. I live in a Country that is more cash driven than card payments.

How will I survive without a card given my preference for ease of shopping? One of the things I want to reduce fast is the volume of shopping I do on Amazon. While it is not a bad thing, it is no longer in line with my health plans which requires me to move regularly. I will only shop the things I can’t get in my neighborhood stores on Amazon. For these things, I will pre buy three €50 Amazon vouchers for October to December and load €50 per month. When this amount is spent, my Amazon shopping is over for the month no matter how desperately I want the item, fingers tightly crossed I stick to it. I expect my monthly subscribe and save items to use up at least 40% of the vouchers.

All my groceries shopping will be done in the neighbourhood stores. This is major for me as I don’t like in-store shopping which made me heavily reliant on Amazon and reduced my physical movement. My plan is to do a weekly top up shopping on Friday mornings before the store gets busy. For everything else, I plan to do a why analysis on why I need it before buying from a physical store or defaulting to an Amazon purchase if I still have unspent voucher.

My work stress and spending anxiety will not magically disappear. Infact I’m expecting it to increase so to manage this I’m registering in a gym from September with the base plan to attend three classes a week. I know that I don’t like the gym or heavy physical movement so I’m gyming with my Husband who is passionate about it and determined to see me improve my physical health.

I hope this works and I am able to get my spending back on track and at the same time improve my health. If I’m successful with the experiment, I will go card free and stick to spending cash only. Without my current card, there’s negative to no benefit from having a credit card as it only enables my overspending.

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