Let us decipher which payment method best fits your various needs by discussing four different methods, their pros, and also their cons.
Your payment method of choice matters. A lot.
Managing one’s money in the wisest way possible does not only involve where you spend your money but also on the manner you choose to pay for your expenses.
Hold up, wait up. That must be a little weird, I know. Let me explain further.
Technology and finance have been merging more closely over time and because of this, more and more payment options have been opened up and are opening up continuously for all manners of consumers.
Each of these payment methods presents their own sets of pros and cons that affect the way you manage your budget and expenses.
In this article, we’re going to discuss four different payment methods, their pros, and also their cons. With this information, let us decipher which payment method best fits your various needs.
Cash is, hands down, the best payment method you can use to manage upfront expenses and payments.
With it, you have the choice on how much you are willing to carry and spend, and you have no choice but to stop spending as soon as your resources are depleted.
It is also the most flexible as you cannot deny that all stores accept cash as payment methods. This is something that cannot be said of the other payment methods.
Some stores even offer discounts on cash-based transactions, so you have the opportunity to save up as well!
If you’re planning on a big-ticket expense or purchase, carrying a huge amount of cash with you can be a little risky. It is also not as discreet or hassle-free as carrying a credit or debit card.
Additionally, if you are caught in an emergency with no cash on hand, you are – excuse the liberal language – quite screwed.
Using Credit Cards
For everyone who is into everything instant and convenient, credit cards are a gift sent by the heavens above. They are easy to carry and don’t take too much space in one’s wallet or purse and they are very discreet as well.
This makes trips to the mall or other establishments unnecessary. Now you can do all your shopping/booking errands wherever you are.
Plenty of credit card companies also offer discounts, rebates, and redeemable points for loyal customers. They also tie up with different brands and establishments for exclusive deals – something that deal-hunters are on a constant lookout for!
This payment method will test not just your budget but also your self-discipline.
Too many people have sworn to never spend more than they can afford, only to find their steely resolve melting under the power of instant purchasing power that “the plastic” has to offer.
Paying Debit Cards
Debit cards, much like credit cards, are convenient alternatives to cash. Unlike credit cards, however, the money you spend directly comes from an enrolled bank account – meaning, you can only spend what you already have.
This makes debit cards a great compromise between being financially responsible (not overspending) and the convenience of “plastic”.
Since debit cards make use of funds from an enrolled bank account, you will need to make sure that there are enough funds in your account before using this payment method.
In addition, some transactions also do not reflect on your records instantly so you might have to take those into consideration when managing your expenses. ‘
While a relatively new payment method, installment plans are extremely flexible and are therefore best for medium to large purchases. Installment plans are tailored to fit the amount you want to loan; when you’d like to pay for it; and the duration of your payment terms.
Another advantage of installment plans is that most companies or establishments that offer installment plans have more lenient screening processes.
You can, therefore, apply for a plan despite having low or no credit scores.
Like credit cards, it is easy to fall into the trap of availing installment plans (which are, essentially, loans) and spending way too much than you can afford.
Most plans require you to pay a certain amount of interest rate or processing fee and you might need to take that into consideration once you start computing for your monthly (or bimonthly) payments.
When it comes to spending and managing your finances, there really is no such thing as a silver bullet – there is no one solution that best fits all scenarios.
So when choosing a payment method, consider first your own shopping habits, as well as the type of transaction that you are about to do.
Most importantly, consider pros and cons carefully before jumping forward with a purchase. This way, you avoid taking unnecessary risks and spending too much for your own good.