Tuesday, 12 December 2017

I want less hassle.

Hello. I have a new debit card from my bank, it is a contactless card which means I can hover it over a machine at the checkout and my purchase is complete. I believe there is a limit of £30 per transaction, I haven't read the blurb because I have no intention of using it for purchases. This facility is supposed to make life simple and easy, no need to remember your pin number, or does it?  
Have a read of this article in the Mail. How easy it is for someone with the correct electronic device to skim the details from these cards, even when they are in your purse, pocket, or bag. A whole new industry has started up selling little pockets for the cards which will block the signal. An alternative is to cover it in foil. There is another remedy, they can be returned to the bank and you can ask for a non contactless card. I can't be bothered to do that, so mine is covered in foil.
I have lots of little habits which contribute to making my life simple and without hassle or worry. One of these habits is to never use my debit card for purchases. Ok, I correct that, I have used it twice over the years when buying a car, it is more convenient than paying with cash. But other than that I don't use it at all in shops, and I don't buy online. My rules for a simple life.

The only time I use this card is to withdraw money from the cash machine inside the bank. I don't use hole in the walls in the street, I don't trust them. So my debit card only comes out of my purse once or twice a month. In fact I don't even need to take it out with me at all, unless I know I will be visiting a bank.

I do have a credit card which has a few transactions on it, and I take care of it, guard it with my life. It's so easy to get distracted when shopping, as my friend was recently. She left her card in a machine, which caused a whole load of hassle cancelling it and getting a new one. Luckily she did it quickly and nothing was stolen from her account.

So, my simple life is all about being careful, not making problems for myself, being extra vigilant, staying alert, and trying to limit things going wrong. I want less worry.

Another simple thing I do is stay within the speed limit when driving. I can't be doing with folks who say speed cameras are cash cows. If no one speeds the government makes no money from them. I have been caught three times in the past, all while working, but not any more. I have learnt, no speeding, no letters in the post, no money lost, and reaching my destination less frazzled. 

Another way I try and eliminate hassle from my life is to avoid people I don't like very much. On first meetings I can tolerate most in small doses, but then the boundaries go up and I am on my guard. There are people you warm to and some you don't. Welcome the people you love, but for a more harmonious life it's sometimes better to walk away.

So what do you do to make your life simple, and I don't mean growing your own veg or keeping chickens, because both of those need a fair amount of commitment. I did grow veg for a few years because I didn't have much money, but it was time consuming. Now I can afford to buy veg so some time is freed up to do other things. My time management now is much more simplified.

Now I have to get the car ready and take it to the garage. While it is there I shall be making use of the time and walking to the village.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

50 comments:

  1. I make my life simple by not looking in a mirror too often. I feel great on the inside but well the outside looks a little worse for wear sometimes because I spend very little money on my appearance but a lot of time walking and eating home cooked meals. This takes up my time rather than 'beauty treatments'. Don't let me give you the impression of some bag lady because I do have clean clothes and keep myself clean!! Great Blog Ilona. Sharon

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  2. I also don't look in the mirror often now.I was always checking my appearance-reapplying makeup-titivating my hair-can't be bothered more than once a day now.If I need to I will just put a wig on.Also I don't clean much unless really necessary,which is much easier.I enjoy just being with the dogs & getting our meals.Today it was beautiful again in the countryside & as the snow was more crunchy furry mop dog was much happier.Hot water bottles are in use here all day.Hope all goes well at the garage Ilona x

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    1. Ps-I avoid people I find troublesome but they don't Lil<e it when I do & try their hardest to be confrontational.Happily I seem to meet lots of like minded people & here at yours Ilona we are all lovely x

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  3. I think that Ilona has said she's against this, but ...

    For me the biggest thing by far that makes my life simple is auto debit of my regular bills from my checking account. I have my electric, phone/internet, water and health insurance bills taken out automatically. I've done the same for my mother. (In the U.S. our electric bills are after the fact real charges, not estimates.)

    As a single person, the most important auto deduction is my health insurance. If I was ill and could not pay my bills at least I know that my health insurance will continue! I keep a good amount of funds in the checking.

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    1. Perhaps I should make myself clear. I am not against anything that other people do if it works for them. I write about what I do, nobody has to follow, nobody has to agree with me. What you do is your concern, not mine.

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    2. Seeing lots of contactless cards used by thieves, quickly getting bottles of vodka etc before card is cancelled. Lots of purse dippers out this time of year too. Avoid the outdoor cash machines and try to use ones inside. These people are really good at what they do and will have your pin and card in seconds.

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    3. Softly softly Ilona x Hope it all goes well with the MOT x

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    4. The car passed it's MOT test, but I don't know what you mean by 'softly softly'.

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    5. "Softly Softly catchee monkey". It's a 19th Century phrase - coined during colonial times - and really in essence it means there is no rush you will get there in the end.

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  4. I've started to withdraw cash once a week and not use my debit card if possible. Much simpler and easier to see what's what. I've also had a sort out of my many loyalty/reward cards for various supermarkets - I've ditched most and changed to a smaller purse. I also keep my hair in a style that's easy to manage (shoulder length blunt cut bob) and can trim it myself if necessary - although I do go to a hairdresser but not very often. I'm also stopping buying on-line as I'm currently still waiting for a refund on something almost 10 days later.

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  5. All these gadgets and new technology are not for me, I like it old fashioned and simple, can't be bothered with it all, my son uses contactless he has a special wallet which is designed so no one can try and hack/access your cards.
    I always take out cash these days, which is also a good way not to overspend (mind you I don't do that anyway).

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    1. Do you know where your son brought his special wallet for his card, I thought it would make a good gift for my grand chikdren.
      Hazel c uk

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  6. For us cash is king wherever possible. We are entitled to Tax Credits so these normally take care of all our household bills along with our Child Benefit each month. My husband gets paid weekly which I really like as I get my household/shopping money, some is used for other outgoings and we try to put £100 in the bank most weeks. Doing this means we have bought all our boys' Christmas presents with cash. We don't have a credit card, even for emergencies. We also saved money each week to pay for our summer holiday, flights, car, everything and we didn't even miss the money we were putting away each week.

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  7. Thanks so much for the tip re: contactless cards being scanned through your bag or wallet, as we speak everyone in my house is lining their wallets and purses with tin foil! Eilidh x

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  8. Glad your car passed it's such a pain not knowing what they might find .my car is under a foot of snow and no walking my miles are suffering hope it improves soon Kath K

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  9. Would be interested to know why you don’t trust ATMs outside banks.

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    1. Because they can be tampered with.

      TSB machine outside a bank was tampered with.
      http://jesmondlocal.com/2013/04/lloyds-tsb-cash-machine-falls-prey-to-tampering-our-interactive-graphic/

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/money-saving-tips/jessicainvestigates/9922226/How-can-I-tell-if-an-ATM-has-been-tampered-with.html

      http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/saving/article-3545646/Criminals-taking-quick-hit-approach-cash-machine-fraud-expert-warns-five-signs-ATM-tampered-with.html

      https://www.pandasecurity.com/mediacenter/tips/how-to-spot-if-an-atm-has-been-tampered-with/
      On this web site.....
      Whenever possible, use an ATM that is inside the bank rather than one that is on the street. Try to avoid bank machines that are located in transport hubs and shopping malls, as these are easy targets for criminals.

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    2. I would never use an outside cash machine.In the village where I live several times a metal cover has been placed on top- a copy and the yobs then can steal your money.They sit in a car outside.I have seen one & we were advised in local paper to go inside the bank.Also the hand devise too is more likely to be used outside x

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  10. We have one debit card and that's it.To my horror we keep getting through the post applications for credit cards - the best thing I bought this year was a £10 shredder from Staples so guess where these annoying things go? Job done. I try not to be offensive but as I get older I just avoid people who I think are rude or aggravating: I've always loathed snobs and 'jealousy' types, I don't need that in my life so steer clear. Well done about the MOT. Amanda

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    1. I sat through work Xmas lunch yesterday with a group that left me thinking I should have taken the day off!

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  11. I'm another who tries to avoid people I don't really like. Christmas will bring me into contact with several people I normally avoid, but hopefully it will be short and sweet.
    I use, and like, contactless and debit cards, having them instead of cash makes me feel safer. But when I do withdraw cash I'm very wary of outside ATMs, skimming seems to be common.
    I made my life simple when I decided not to return to work when I became a mum. It was a deliberate lifestyle choice, and I haven't regretted it for a second. Karen

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  12. I let all my calls go to Messagebank on my phone, at home and at work ( unless its my hubby or my kids). It means I can return the call (or not) at a time when it suits me and can keep working uninterrupted- so I get my work done in less time.
    I also avoid people I don't like - lifes too short to be miserable!

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  13. I also turn down offers of work if it really makes me feel unhappy and I cope with a small income. My contact less debit current account card takes transactions up to £60 which is a big loss for me if it was stolen. I didn't know it was optional, thanks for that information Ilona, it's another one of those things that are thrust upon you without your consent and without informing you of your rights. I shall be changing mine. There are lots of concerns about becoming a cashless society, I think it will actually lead to more theft. What will poor people do if all their spending is electronically controlled by computers. People will not stop crime or substance misuse so what will they turn to instead of money? I have recently gone back to a cash budget in my purse every week. If I haven't got it I can't spend it. That's how I was brought up and it has kept me debt free. Don't mean to be morbid but when you get to a mature age you lose your parents and friends start dieing from cancer and heart attacks, it makes you take stock and realise that life is very short so prioritise what is really important to you. If it's spending time with your friends or family then do it, if it's having time to self then do it.

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  14. Reading the responses I have to ask...How on earth does someone save £100 a week when they receive tax credits? My son gets them for his family. After rent and nursery costs they have no money left from income. The tax credits feed them and pay essential bills.

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  15. I've refused all my contactless cards. The bank has, now, sent me non contactless. I work in a supermarket and one week someone came in and did three transactions for £29,95. Found out later the card had been stolen about 1/2 hour earlier from the pub across the road. Also I live in a seaside town where none of the shops have CCTV - If I drop my card in the high street and someone picks it up and makes various purchases I'll bet I'll have a hard time saying it wasn't me. Contactless cards, as far as I'm concerned, are just looking after the banks.

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  16. My contactless cards and internet banking are two things which make my life a lot simpler.

    If I use my card rather than cash the spend is shown on my statement (no need to carry a little book to record transactions) and my bank provides an online money management system (so I can tell it what transaction relate to groceries, home repairs, gardening, vehicle hire, eating out, entertainment etc) and monitor my spend by catergories by specific time periods. So for example it's easy to see if I'm spending more on the garden in summer an heating in winter and compare these year on year. For someone who is time pressured it saves me hours in terms of having to enter stuff onto my own spreadsheets. (Though there is the option to download all my transactions from my account into spreadsheets and slice and dice that data however I like - another easy way to track spending by shop etc).

    It makes me feel much more in control of what I'm spending, where, and when. I've also got various alerts set up with my bank so on the odd occasion when an unusual transaction has been registered they can ring me and we can stop it before it hits my account and does any damages (i.e we get to it before it 'clears' and shows on my statement). It does make it a lot easier to stop fraud.

    Contactless cards mean I also don't have to carry cash and all my cards are with a card protection system - so if someone lifts my purse it's one call to block the lot and any fraudulent transaction before they register.

    I know it doesn't work for everyone - and I completely understand the reasons people are wary - but as you say above it's all about what works for individuals and their circumstances.

    I'm totally with you on avoiding people though! I'm a bit of hermit by nature and largely content in with my own company - even with close friends we tend towards time limited interactions and none of us would dream on dropping in without phoning first to check whether it's convenient!

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  17. Its getting harder and harder to avoid not using cards. In my neck of the wood banks closed down years ago and all that is left is the ATM. Banks charge a fee if I go into the bank to withdraw from a teller and if I use the inside ATM I get notes larger than I want and often have to withdraw more than I want. To change the money to useful cash I get charged for the service. I now use the card because its the cheapest option and I can take small amounts out without incurring fees. We use a debit card that doesn't hold a lot at any one time, so if stolen not much can be taken. I do worry about being robbed and scammed all the time. Some time ago I went to get my hair cut and when I sat down the lovely young lady sweetly asked if she can put my handbag in the back so it didn't get in the way. I smiled and clung on to my bag tighter than ever.

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  18. All good advice/info. I am not nearly as good at this as you, but I am certainly leaning this way. I grew up when someone wanted to cook / bake something, and they were out of one ingredient, it meant a trip to the store. (and usually other purchases etc). Myself, if I don't have what recipe calls for, well, I "adjust". Most times is fine.

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  19. By gosh when I think about it there are a lot of people to avoid in life. I don't like people who are nice to your face and then the minute your back is turned they slag you to all and sundry. I suppose they are the gossips and the manipulators who put people down to make themselves look better. I don't like self centred people either. You know, the 'its all about me' people. They suck the blood out of you with their moans and groans and when you need a shoulder or a helping hand they are nowhere to be found. I don't like greedy and jealous people. My DB was showing his friend and friend's wife something he had made. The wife turned to her husband and said 'why can't you do this, common make me one too'. Ugly woman. I don't like snobs. They think they are a cut above and will talk down to others and ignore people below their station. Most of all I don't like people who are polite and tolerant of people they don't like. They pretend to like those they are with and can be ever so polite. They are superficial, ingenuous, insincere and down right hard for me to take. That leaves very few people left to like in this world. I guess you have to like yourself and be true to yourself and hang the rest.

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    1. My god you really made a study of it. This condition nobody is good enough for you, could be turned around by forgiven people. We are all human and make mistakes, we are not perfect. You could start to practice it in the spirit of Christmas and the New Year. That is something that I try to do everyday. Greetings from Greetje [The Netherlands}

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    2. Gretje. I was being tongue in cheek. I am not one to preach and I don't like being preached to.

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  20. I very very rarely use cash point machines as my sister's friend had the money snatched from her hand when using one. Luckily 3 builders working on a nearby house gave chase and got it back for her after giving the thief a few strong words. Since then I use my debit card for cashback at the supermarket.

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  21. since reading and learning from Ilona blog my life is so simple that I have forgotten what it was like before. When staying in a hotel what do you need? A bed, bathroom, kettle, toiletries, change of clothes, maybe a TV. At home you may want a cooker or microwave. That’s how I think now, fixtures and ornaments etc are just added extras. Food is the main expense and simple yellow stickers, is the way forward. This is how I think now. X

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  22. We live in rural France. Banking is done on-line, but if I need cash, I can visit another bank with an indoor cash machine, or one in our local supermarket. A week ago, I received a phone call from someone talking about dear OH's bank card. I thought it was a scam so put the phone down. Luckily, she phoned again and it was from the supermarket - dear OH had put his wallet on the car roof getting fuel and then driven off - it had been handed in to the office! All all the cards were present and correct - and before he had even realised he'd lost it. Thank goodness for some honest people.

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  23. The other thing that made my life a lot simpler was investing £40 in a BT call screener phone 2 years ago.

    I'd had a interesting go round with a stalker who'd ring me late at night or in the wee small hours and out his phone down and step away. It was annoying rather than scary - especially as my mum was ill at the time so I never knew whether the late night calls were stalker chap or family calling to tell me to get up to Sheffield ASAP!

    The phone forces callers to announce themselves so when you pick up you can tell who it is and refuse to accept the call. No more stalker calls and it also foils all the automated dialling from sales and surveys and all those other unwanted callers.

    On balance the best £40 I ever spent in my life :)

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    1. I don't need one of those screener thingys, No one ever phones me.

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  24. I haven't seen contactless cards over here in Queensland yet but perhaps they are around. If I need cash I often just withdraw it at the supermarket when I am buying groceries. Seems safer,saves time, no fees and no need to worry about the implications of using the hole in the wall. It took me a while to realise it, but I agree with you and now I avoid people who don't make me happy as well.I enjoyed reading your post.
    Pauline

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  25. I simplify my life by grocery shopping only once a week according to a planned weekly menu and shopping list. I never used to do that and naturally I overspent and had cupboards full of wasted food. I am also currently cleaning out every cupboard, drawer and closet and paring down to only the items we need/love/use. Everything else is going to the charity shop. I have installed dawn-to-dusk light bulbs in my front and back porches which means that I don't have to remember to turn the darn things on or off, it's automatic. I now use my dishwasher every two days rather than fiddle around with (to me) the clutter of draining boards and hand washing up. Now it's done for me by the machine and out of sight. I have also removed 75% of knickknacks from my life (to the charity shop) to make dusting easier.

    Sandy in the USA

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    1. I have very few ornaments here, I like the uncluttered look, and as you say, makes dusting easier.

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  26. the day my daughter received her contactless card , before she had even used it, it was skimmed at Meadowhall.....never got any refund because its your fault not the banks apparently , she couldnt even get a crime number from the police for her insurance . seems its so comman nobody can be bothered to police the fraud

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  27. We have friends in Birmingham ...UK not USA. He only purchases no more than £29 in fuel at any garage as he says lots of the cashiers are skimming your card when tapping in your number.I mentioned this to the cashier in Tescos last week and she tells me that customers cards, whilst at the tills, were being filmed from the Costa Cafe shop upstairs and the images were so good they could read the number and see your pin being typed in. So long as you are sensible contactless is safe just keep track of what you spend. They do say cash will be obsolete in years to come but I think I'll be on the other side by then. Rae x

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  28. I've never had any problems with my card and I try to be at peace with my fellow human beings on the journey of life.

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  29. My problem is that I meet people I have not talked to in 2 or 20 years. They want to stand in a crowd and quiz me about my life, the kind of thing a real friend would call to talk about. I either ignore the question or say, "Call me and let's catch up." the person is quite perplexed that I will not open my life to intrusive questions to someone who is not willing to call and ask things in private, well, over the phone.

    One woman chided me with, I haven't heard from you in ages. I responded, well, I have not heard from you either. Then, I spoke to someone else and extricated myself from her nosy and chiding self.

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  30. Cards in the US that need to be swiped can also have information stolen by someone who gets information from your purse electronically.

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