With computers and the internet pervading - if not almost ruling - every aspect of daily life, electronic payment for goods and services in the High Street is becoming the norm. As well as the use of credit and debit cards, increasingly we are using phones with apps like Apple Pay and buying a couple of coffees is as simple as tapping the card reader.
However, you are usually asked if you want a receipt. Invariably you hear customers declining and that certainly saves paper. Being of the old school, however, I have always kept a close watch on my personal finances and like to maintain a comprehensive record of everything I have spent and a running total of funds left for the rest of the month. I operate a monthly budgeting spreadsheet for regular payments and direct debits plus how much I should 'put aside' for things like holidays, fuel, insurances, major purchases and so on. With my system I can enter miscellaneous sums of money I have spent and then check them off against monthly credit card bills and bank statements. Some will say that all I need are the monthly statements but I cannot feel that I would be able to recall what each and every minor item of expenditure was for.
I was taught how to budget and manage money at an early age. Mostly I picked this up from my father who kept meticulous records both in his business and his personal life. It just became a habit with me too. Over the years I have come to enjoy a satisfactory end of the month feeling when everything balances. I do wonder whether people would be less likely to run into financial problems if careful money management was taught and practised a little more.