Just a quick check-in: controlling spending with credit cards?!

Hey y’all, not a long post because I’m still on the work travel thing. Did I mention I’m in another country this time? Uh, I am. In case you are wondering, it is a lot of fun. 🙂

I decided to try something pretty novel for me: instead of controlling my spending with a cash draw, I decided to exclusively use a credit card here. I had to apply for a new one, because my existing cards had foreign transaction fees on them, and it occurred to me that instead of doing what I usually do (take out cash in currency of foreign country; spend it all; take out more cash; spend all of THAT) I could try something new, the idea being not to end up with either overspending to get rid of extra foreign currency or having to bring home currency I can’t spend and then wait four or five years til I’m back in the correct country.

It’s working quite well so far! I’ve been able to swipe for everything except a tip for the washroom attendant yesterday (I felt really bad about this, but I apologized to her and said I just didn’t have any currency — it’s now occurring to me as I type that I probably could have left her a U.S. dollar and she’d have figured out something to do with it. Oh well.) And I think it may even have been preventing me from over-doing it on spending. I’ve bought a few gifts for family members, and food, but other than that just a cheap theater ticket; when I have to pull out my card I have to think about entering the transaction into YNAB, instead of just handing over random amounts of cash from my wallet. So far so good anyway!

6 thoughts on “Just a quick check-in: controlling spending with credit cards?!

  1. Good idea for preventing the “need” to spend all foreign currency before leaving!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yeah, that’s what I wanted to avoid. Of course I did have a total YOLO moment yesterday and bought a $75 4th-row seat at the last minute for a play, but it was really good and I think totally worth ponying up rather than spending more like $20 for a seat at the back of the balcony 🙂

  2. Using a credit card works for me for spending. I like seeing what I spend and where. I suppose you could keep a log of cash spending, but using a car is more purposeful for me as well.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      At home, I like having my cash draw, but I will definitely use the card on overseas trips again — I loved not having to deal with foreign currency.

  3. I prefer credit over cash any day. Putting everything on credit creates a paper trail that I can use to track things!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yeah, and it was really convenient not to have to convert anything to USD in my head — the card did all the work 🙂

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