by Stuart Ridgway, Original Music for Film and Television
In part one of this series I talk about the second hardest part of dumping my wallet: choosing what four items I could keep inside my iPhone case.
Where Things Really Get Interesting
The actual hardest part of making the switch was no longer having a place to keep my receipts. Really. Enter change management. Because I won’t use cash I have to use my two credit cards, which is no problem – except it’s important for me to track my purchases.
I’ve just started tinkering with Apple Pay which takes advantage of NFC (near-field communication) payments through your phone. NFC is similar to Bluetooth in that it enables you to have two devices in close proximity communicate with each other. NFC, however, is much better at quickly pairing two devices and it’s noticeably more secure.
When the day comes that I make all my purchases with a wave of my device-laden hand/wrist, then I will also have an automatic way to track my purchases without saving receipts. Until that day, I have to grab a paper receipt (ugh) at least for a few seconds.
Capturing Receipts As Painlessly As Possible
I tried a couple of ways to capture my receipt information in my phone: type it into Apple Numbers, take a picture, or use one if many receipt apps. I landed on Shoeboxed. Shoeboxed is not perfect but it does enough things right that I committed myself to using it. And now you get the benefit of learning what I learned.
Step 1: Instead of stuffing the receipt into my wallet, I take a picture of it within the Shoeboxed app. Shoeboxed is smart enough to (most of the time) assign the receipt to the correct credit card. If I feel like it I’ll assign a category to the receipt. For my personal purchases I don’t bother.
Step 2: I tear up the credit card receipt. I do take two seconds to double check that Shoeboxed scanned the receipt correctly.
Step 3: I go on my merry way with lighter pockets (literally and figuratively) until…
Step 4: I begrudgingly sit at my desk to export my receipts from Shoeboxed into my finance tracking software, Fortora (think Quicken or Mint). It’s a chore because even though Shoeboxed gives you a decent amount of flexibility for exporting receipts as a CSV and Fortora will import them, each requires things to be juuuuust right or my import goes haywire. Strike three (if you’re counting).
Step 5: I do the export/import process. I’m not including the steps here because I don’t want to deflate your enthusiasm for living out of your phone. And, this process will get better I promise. It’s just a matter of time. However, if you want to know what it takes to do this process, put a comment below.
BUT I have successfully found a way to track my receipts. And honestly, it’s no worse than having a pile of paper receipts on my desk that I have to enter into my computer manually. Plus three!
So yes, the change has some plusses and minuses – I did say that it wasn’t perfect – but they kinda cancel each other out. But more importantly I almost never pull out my wallet! Maybe once a month?
What a truly liberating feeling to grab my phone and my keys and walk out the door. I stuff my pockets with way less bulk: no loyalty fobs on my keychain, no wallet, no physical artifacts of the 20th century weighing me down.
Two final thoughts: First, everything must get backed up. Most of these apps immediately shoot everything up to their various clouds so I have had no problem accessing my digital stuff. Second, don’t be a servant to the concept. When I have my briefcase and need my wallet, I use it. I don’t count it as a ding. It happens.
Now, how will this get better with my spankin’ new Apple Watch? I can’t wait to find out.
Gripe and Punishment
Gripe: Doctors who are always late for our appointments.
Punishment: If you and I make appointments to meet and I consistently make you wait, when we do meet just keep asking me question after question after question and never let me leave.
Just to be clear: Figure out how your average appointment is and build your schedule around that. Don’t keep shoving in more appointments and keeping all of us mere mortals waiting.
Stuart Ridgway composes original music for film and television. You can find out more about his music and the Emmy Award winning television shows he works on at Pyramid Digital Productions, Inc.