Personal Finance

My #smallenfreuden Challenge

Back in May, I relayed information about Visa’s new Smallenfreuden campaign and shared a challenge I would be participating in over the next month. Smallenfreuden basically means to put your smaller, everyday purchases on your Visa card. It’s mainly for people who pay off their credit cards each month so they don’t pay interest on their balance. If you owe anything on your credit card and don’t pay off the balance in full every month, Smallenfreuden is probably not right for you.

My #smallenfreuden Challenge

My challenge was to use my Visa card for the next 100 purchases I made that were under $100. These were supposed to be purchases I would be making anyways and instead of paying with cash or debit, I would use my Visa card. I wasn’t sure how I would like it since I’ve only used my Visa for online purchases for my blogging monthly costs and for purchasing larger ticket items like plane tickets, furniture, etc. However, I was willing to try it and see if it was right for me.

It was a bit of an adjustment at first using my Visa to pay for very small purchases. I found myself asking for a receipt which I kept in an envelope in my purse to keep track of spending. I know I could have went online as well to see my purchases, but I kept the receipt too so I could see what I bought.

I mainly shopped at our local convenience store, grocery store, post office, national chain department stores and our local coffee chain. I also purchased supplies from our local hardware store for our renovations. I also continued to use my Visa to pay for my online purchases.

Over the course of the challenge, I noticed a number of benefits of Smallenfreuden-ing.

Control & Organization: By making all purchases on one card, I was able to easily keep track of  spending. I know from experience how easy it is lose to track of money when I use cash. If I lose the receipt, I won’t know how much I spent when I’m tracking my spending. When I use my Visa, I can go online at anytime to check my purchases and balance.

I also found that I was more meticulous about keeping my receipts because I wanted to pay off what I spent. I know you have 30 days to pay off your purchases before interest kicks in, but I found I was paying it off sooner. I would go into my online banking at the end of the week and pay off my purchases.

Convenience: I like that I could use my Visa at most stores. I never carry cash on me anymore. There’s really no need to! At first I thought our local coffee chain didn’t take Visa so I was using my debit card there. Then they added a sign to the drive thru window that advertised that Visa was now a payment option. The big reason why I hate using cash now at places like our local coffee chain is they round up to the nearest five cents. So if my order comes to $4.37 and I pay with a five dollar bill, I only receive $0.60 change. They don’t give you pennies so everyday when I place my order for our two coffees, I lose 3 cents. I’d imagine that would add up over time.

Rewards: This is a HUGE PLUS for me! I get points on every purchase I make on my Visa credit card. I’ve already redeemed my points twice in the past year for gift cards at my favourite stores. Many Visa credit cards offer rewards benefits or loyalty points that you can save up for something small like gift cards or for a trip.

I’ve noticed the rewards points piling up since I’ve been smallenfreuden-ing. I’m saving up my points to buy a few Future Shop gift cards so I can purchase a new lens for my camera.

Security: I like knowing my purchases are protected when I shop with Visa. In fact, when I buy anything online I much prefer to use my Visa vs. paying with Paypal.

Now that my Smallenfreuden challenge is over, the question is will I continue with adopting the Smallenfreuden lifestyle. I have friends who have been doing it for years and rave about it. I’m still undecided if I will continue to smallenfreuden. Though I love all the benefits it offers, old habits die hard. I guess it’s a personal decision that each person must decide on their own and decide what works for them. For me, the jury is still out.

Check out this post on Boomer & Echo about another blogger’s experience with Smallenfreuden.

Visa #smallenfreuden Ultimate NHL Experience

There’s still time to enter the Visa #smallenfreuden Ultimate NHL Experience! The prize is trip for 4 to attend two amazing events: The 2014 NHL® Winter Classic and one game of the 2014 Stanley Cup® Final! This fabulous prize includes airfare, accomodations, tickets to the games and of course, Prepaid Visa cards for spending money. You enter just by smallenfreudin-ing! Just use your Visa to pay for purchases under $100 and  you will be automatically entered to win. The contest ends on June 30th.

There’s also weekly prizes you can win like autographed NHL jerseys and Visa Gift Cards by casting your vote for your favourite small play. Visit Visa Canada for more details on entering.

Disclosure: I received compensation for this post. However, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Stacie Vaughan

Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!

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