Question: Haley from My Total Money Makeover can’t convince her husband to leave his debit card at home so that he’s not tempted to use it. She wants him to use cash. He hangs on to it in case of an emergency. Dave agrees with not leaving the debit card at home but thinks her husband is impulse spending.
Answer: I don’t think he ought to leave it at home. I think you’re wrong. I carry my debit card everywhere I go. I want my wife to as well. What I want him to do is quit having emergencies. Translation: Quit impulse spending. He doesn’t have any freaking emergencies. It’s the impulse spending he didn’t want to stop doing. Some of that may have to do with the fact that you all aren’t budgeting for reasonable things. If he’s going to eat out for lunch while he’s at work—I don’t care if he does or not, I don’t much—if that’s the kind of thing that he’s spending money on and those are called emergencies … But if he’s not using the debit card, he should be carrying it, or, if there’s an actual use for it that is a part of your budgeted plan, he should be carrying it. The idea that you shouldn’t carry your debit card because you’re too immature to not impulse—that’s not a debit card problem. That’s an immaturity problem. You’re not his mother. You’re his wife. We need to be on the same page here, and everybody needs to be grown-ups.