Budget Buster: Debit/Credit card minimums

I looked in the fridge last night and there wasn’t much to eat. I thought to myself, what could I eat that is close by and cheap? Pizza, of course! I walked a few blocks and picked out a nice juicy slice. $2.50 for dinner, not bad! Then I approached the cashier:

$5 minimum when paying with credit or debit cards.

D’oh! I hardly ever have cash and don’t often have to deal with minimums. So I ordered a beer, and paid $3 more than what I originally planned for. The beer helped the situation.

I kept thinking of how that could really add up and be such a waste. I am going to try to be more cognizant of getting cash, especially when I go to smaller, local businesses.

In this particular situation, the minimum wasn’t so extreme that I would walk away from the situation. After all, I was starving and just needed to eat, so paying $3 more wasn’t that bad. But if that were to happen once a week, or several times a week, that could really add up.

How do you combat credit card minimums? Do you always carry cash?

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12 responses to “Budget Buster: Debit/Credit card minimums

  1. We just had pizza last night! In that case, I think I would’ve bought two slices and saved one for another meal. If it was a hot day, though, I would’ve done the pizza and beer combo. 🙂 I usually have cash, though, but only because the super dive-y and delicious places in SD only accept cash.

    • Haha I guess I am not on my detox anymore….the smart thing would have been to buy another slice and save it! Smart thinking, Anna! Also, the job is going really well! I love it 🙂

  2. I’m pretty terrible with remembering to carry cash, so I usually have to deal with the CC minimums. That being said, I hate them so I avoid them as much as possible. But in this situation, passing up a beer with my pizza might cause me to pull out the card…. 🙂

  3. I also hate it when there is a minimum delivery charge. A few weeks ago, I was going to use my per-diem card to get some Chinese takeout, but they wouldn’t accept it. So I had to go home and call an order in with another card, but then had to order another meal to reach the minimum delivery charge!

  4. I’ve just come across your blog (I’m very new to the PF community) and I am also trying to pay off my debt as fast as I can! I’ve never used to carry any cash around and would normally use my debit/credit card for purchases but this has now changed. It’s so much easier for me to track my expenses when I pay cash, so I’ve started to give myself an allowance each week and carry a bit of cash around! Here in London, UK, some corner shops charge around £0.50 per transaction if you use your card and it’s extremely upsetting when all you’re buying is a pint of milk!! Having some cash really helps.

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