The Effect Contactless Payment Has On My Child

Did you know that you can pretty much pay for everything without cash now? Recently the new £5 notes came into circulation, and I found myself excited at the aspect of getting one when I withdrew money, but then it dawned on me. This chances of that happening were slim to none. You see I never pay with cash anymore. I shop online, or pay with my card. Or use apple pay. The list goes on.

The thing is, cashless purchasing is effective, I hate carrying around cash because I’m such a clumsy person I would no doubt lose it. I do feel like not using cash has changed my relationship with money a little bit. If I have notes and coins, I know how much I have spent, I know when they are gone, that’s it. When you pay on card, you don’t really know how much you have spent until you look it up, I find it increasingly hard to curb my spending if I pay on card, or by contactless payment.

Am I the only person who feels this way? I mean nearly everyone owns a credit or debit card. I know I own 3 debit cards. Although I do find that they are sitting in my purse more and more because I opt to use apple pay. While I think, it is genius that you can pay with your smart phone (no more not being able to buy something if you forget your purse). It does make me wonder how I am going to teach Emily what the value of money is.

When I was younger I received pocket money. £5 a fortnight, and I always got them in pound coins, unlike my cousins I couldn’t save them I spent them straight away. I soon learned how many sweets, or how many toys I could get with that amount of money, and having that responsibility when I was young, taught me and shaped me into the person I am now. If everything is on a card, or contactless payments how am I going to teach Emily? It is hard for me to grasp just how much I am spending when I use a card – so how can I expect her to understand?

I get that contactless payment is a faster way of paying, it removes the need to have lots of loose change at the bottom of your bag, and there are so many advantages to it, but it just makes me wonder what Emily thinks of it all. At two years, she is curious about money and coins. She knows that when her nanny comes over, she gives her a pound and she can save that pound, or buy something with it at the shops. She has physically asked for a penny to pay for an item herself in the shop recently which is a new thing, but she knows if she physically gives the money to the shop keeper, she can have her egg.

So, what must she think of us, does she think we are stealing? I’ve often watched her watch Sam and I paying for things, and we put our card in the machine, then take it back again and she looks puzzled. She looks as if we have walked out with a bag of shopping that we haven’t paid for. She knows if she wants a kinder egg, she must give them pennies, so why doesn’t mummy and daddy so the same?

I recently read an interesting article over UK Credit, about new payment technology and it got me thinking. I definitely am going to make more of an effort to pay in cash where I can, as I want Emily to have a good relationship with money, and truly know its value. How will that happen if I always pay on card? It is basically ‘invisible spending’.

What do you think of it all, I would love to know your opinions? 

- collaborative post


  1. I completely agree with you, I definitely have less control over my money when I pay by card. It's just so much easier to spend when you don't physically see how your cash is getting less and less. I'm definitely less likely to splurge on unnecessary treats or impulse buys when I have cash in my purse and see it disappearing x

  2. I love using my contact card as it is quick and easy but i do keep a eye on my money via my online banking so i can stick to my budget and know what i have left. I do feel it is important to teach my girls about money and we actually have them do a few chores for pocket money. We put a lot of emphasis on saving and earning their own money and i haven't even thought about the side effects of me paying by card is having on them. They haven't actually asked me about it but, if they do, i guess i will explain that money goes into the bank and the card is for getting the money out of the bank. It is a hard one isn't it x

  3. It is hard for them to understand, that is why I give pocket money and treats as coins rather than the kids cards you can get, and add to them electronically. It just becomes digital money, rather than real money.

  4. We don't do pocket money yet as Wilf is only four but its definitely food for thought! x


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