Is all money treated equally?

Do you treat all money equally no matter how it found it’s way into your wallet? Today I found a twenty dollar bill (yay!) in my spring jacket that I haven’t worn in a year, and almost immediately I thought: ‘this money will be my beer money for my trip this weekend’. As I drove to work, my thoughts drifted back to my morning find, and I realized that if I had of earned that money instead of finding it, I wouldn’t be so quick to spend it, or at least mentally spend it.

Whether it’s birthday money, a lottery win, twenty bucks found in a pocket or on the street, or your pay cheque, shouldn’t all money be treated equally? Why did I treat the coat-money differently? I think I considered it ‘free money’ because it was cash. I very rarely deal with cash. I use my debit card and on-line banking for most transactions because I find it easier to track my money that way and I’m usually more hesitant to buy things when I know it’s coming straight out of my bank account. For me, spending money using my little plastic card has more consequences, whereas cash doesn’t seem to.

Spending money based on its form or how you got it is a dangerous thing. The twenty bucks I found wasn’t ‘free’ money, I likely took the money out of an ATM and forgot about it when I changed jackets, but for some reason I was good and eager to blow it on beer. From now on, I’m going to make a conscious effort to treat all my money equally, no more ‘free’ or ‘treat’ money for this Country Girl.

Do you treat all money equally? Why do you think people view money from certain sources differently than others?

Oh, and by the way, I put the twenty bucks in the bank. 😉

Have a good ‘un

Country Girl

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Categories: Cash, Spending | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Is all money treated equally?

  1. LC

    Interesting to think about. When I was getting bi-weekly paycheques, I budgeted around those. I saved all my coins in a jar, to be rolled later, and if I ever found extra bills around the house, they went in the jar too. Debt is another ‘amount of money’ and we definitely think about that differently… hmm, guess I think about it all differently then!

  2. That’s totally true — people tend to treat money differently based on the source, even though it really doesn’t matter where money comes from.

    They did a study where they found that people would totally drive across town, or otherwise inconvenience themselves, to save $100 off the cost of a $300 or $400 item, like a pair of skis.

    But most people would NOT drive across town or inconvenience themselves to save $100 off the cost of a $10,000 item, like a car.

    Isn’t that silly? It’s the same $100!

  3. Totally true. I treat it kinda like winning a mini lottery.

    Though I am trying to be better with that.

  4. So true. I know I tend to treat found money differently than earned money, though I’m making an effort to change that.

    I find it interesting that you feel the pinch when using plastic, but not cash. I’m the exact opposite, I feel it more when I’m using cash. Thats why I’m going cash only this year.

  5. Hmm. Side income I usually save, or spend a little bit on luxuries like clothes or skincare or even buying contact lenses. Same with gifts.

    I hate cash. Impossible to track (receipts are my enemy), too easy to spend and too easy to LOSE! I’m electronic all the way. My fiance often finds it easier to have a cash budget though as he’s a bit of a spender.

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