Sometimes, obvious ways to curb our spending is seldom practiced because we feel embarrassed to try it. We read about them, laugh that it’s probably “just for fun”, and forget about them right after. Yesterday, my friend reminded me that while we might feel funny doing something unusual the first time, it is always the results that actually determine who laughs at the end of the day.
Friend: David, I freeze my credit card in order to stop myself from spending.
Me: You mean you call the companies to stop them?
Friend: No, I mean literally putting them in a block of ice.
I was a little shocked once I realized she really did this. She even went a step further and have the block of ice at her boyfriend’s house. She then continued to tell me the benefits:
- No More Splurging – She used to shop all the time. Now that she doesn’t have a credit card, she eliminated her unnecessary splurges.
- Time to Think – When she wants to buy something, she needs to drive to her boyfriend’s house, thaw the ice and then take the credit card to the store. If she still wants to buy it after all that trouble, the purchase is probably worth the cost.
- Still Have the Cards – My friend thought about canceling the cards but she would lose all the credit history by doing so. She also wanted to have the flexibility of having credit in case she really needed the privilege for some reason.
For those who want to try this, the process is really super simple:
- Fill a container with water
- Put the credit card in there
- Freeze it
She told me that even the magnetic stripe at the back of the card still works so there’s no worries that the card won’t function after being frozen and thawed.
Now that I think about this idea some more, I wonder if this will be a good birthday present for someone. A block of frozen credit cards (with no candle on top of course).
Update: This works extremely well with 0% balance transfer credit cards, because you can just apply, transfer the balances over and freeze the credit card up so you can concentrate on paying the balance off instead of piling on more debt.
This post is dedicated to my friend Jenn, who taught me that not only is there absolutely no shame in doing something effective, it is actually quite admirable.