Plastic money on the roll

CASHING IN

Plastic money on the roll

Eye-opener: A scene from Confessions of a Shopaholic , which is based on credit card abuse.

Cards, debit as well as credit, have been a part of the Western culture for a very long time. It’s only recently they have become a part of Indian shopping culture. While the credit card abuse by shopaholics has become such a problem abroad that it put an entire country in debt, it is yet to be seen whether the younger generation in India can handle it better.

It is especially important for college students, who are now given debit cards and don’t have to keep asking for cash from parents. Metrolife speaks to young college students in Bangalore to get a perspective on these money matters.

“I feel that credit cards, more than debit cards, can prove to be dangerous for youngsters like us because of their higher limits. Having either makes us feel as though we have an unlimited source in our wallets with which we can whip up a treat to our friends or host a party or anything else,” says Anirudh Wodeyar, a student.
But the sheer convenience of carrying a plastic card, instead of bundles of cash, is highly tempting.

And while responsible youngsters know how to handle cash, it is also easy to come under peer pressure which may be difficult to deal with especially if frequenting restaurants and theatres become a part and parcel of daily life.

 “More often than not, students are aware that they shouldn’t spend more than a certain amount of money,” says Pooja, a student. “But the peer pressure of being called kanjoos can be tough to handle,” says Anirudh.

Some actually think that spending by card gives an idea of where exactly your money has gone. “Spending through cash is not as effective as paying for the credit card bill in one shot at the end of the month. People who are responsible realise how much they have actually spent and keep a tab on the expenses through such things,” says Abhijith Vijayendra, a third year engineering student.

Splurging is a commonly seen problem, not only with youngsters but even with adults.
“I’d say in general, with reference to the middle class youngsters who dominate
today's youth, we’re pretty careful with money whether it’s spent electronically or in paper,” says Anirudh.

And since students are aware of the fact that they aren’t earning, they also tend to be slightly more careful than young adults. Also some actually prefer cash over cards. “Spending in cash is better because you don’t get that massive accumulated bill or statement at the end of the month. As they say, Zor ka jhatka dheere se lage,” says Abhijith.

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