Many Vietnamese people prefer cash to save money

By Luu Phat   April 20, 2023 | 04:00 pm PT
Many Vietnamese people prefer cash to save money
A wallet containing cards and cash. Photo by Pixabay
Taking out my phone to pay makes spending too easy.

As an office worker living and working in Ho Chi Minh City, since cashless payment methods like e-wallets and QR code payments through bank apps have developed, I have found it difficult to control my spending.

With a monthly salary of VND15 million (US$638.57), there have been periods of up to six months where I couldn't save any money because paying by phone was too easy and effortless.

Going out for breakfast, lunch - swipe, shopping at the supermarket - swipe, eating out with friends - swipe, buying groceries at the convenience store - swipe... Just holding my phone, a quick swipe and I could pay instantly, without feeling the weight of the money in a literal sense.

After panicking about how easy it was to spend all my salary each month, I gradually returned to using cash, only paying online for utilities like electricity and water. With cash, I withdraw VND1.5 million per week and try to remind myself to spend it until the end of the week.

At the checkout of the convenience store, I carefully consider the items I need to buy, then hand over a VND500,000 note, the most valuable dong note, to the cashier and wait for the change. If paying online, I don't really think about the amount I have to pay, whereas if I use cash, I will regret spending all VND500,000 in one go.

Vietnam is still one of the countries that uses cash the most in the world, according to a report by FIS, a U.S.-based financial and banking company, as cited by Nikkei Asia on April 12. Besides age limitations, geographical constraints, and limited access to technology among certain groups like small grocery and vegetable sellers... I think another reason why many people prefer to use cash is that it is visual and easy to save.

Although cashless payment methods can make spending easier and more convenient, they can also lead to excessive spending if not properly controlled.

With cashless payment methods like credit and debit cards, internet banking transfers, and e-wallets, users can easily spend anytime, anywhere without carrying cash.

However, without a proper budget and spending control plan, the use of cashless payment methods can lead to overspending and exceeding one's budget.

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