Introduction: Save Money With a Sandpaper Insert in Your Wallet

Picture of Save Money With a Sandpaper Insert in Your Wallet

Do you find that you're spending money without thinking when paying with your card? If you're looking for a way to help change your spending habits this simple and easy to make project might help.

Cool your spending down and put some thought into your transactions with this simple sand paper insert, that helps create a little pause for thought.

Use a card too frequently without thinking and you potentially damage the card, meaning you have to go through the hassle of obtaining a new one.

Why not try it for a few weeks and see how much you save? If you do, we'd love to hear how you get on.

Here's how to make it...

Step 1: Materials and Tools That You Will Need.

Picture of Materials and Tools That You Will Need.

-   A credit / debit card (to trace around)
-  Some card to provide support for the sandpaper
-  Scissors
-  Glue
-  A pen/pencil
-  A wallet
-  Sandpaper ( the lower the grit the quicker it will stop your spending)

Step 2: Making the Cardboard Backing

Picture of Making the Cardboard Backing

For this you will need a piece of card anything that you have lying around will do.

1. use your debit/credit card as a template to draw around on the card.

2. cut around the drawn line and that will leave you with the cardboard template.

Step 3: Attach the Sandpaper

Picture of Attach the Sandpaper

Now you need too:

1. take your cardboard template and draw around it on the back of the sandpaper.

2.  cut the sandpaper out

3.  glue it to the cardboard

You might want to tidy up the edges with your scissors.

Step 4: Step 4: Inserting Into the Wallet

Picture of Step 4: Inserting Into the Wallet

Now all you need to do is put it in the pocket that you store your card and enjoy the benefits of saving money.


KrestenK (author)2017-09-01

maybe we should take the screens off our phone until we need to make an important call. Maybe even our mouths shut till we are about die then eat .

Bosun Rick (author)2013-07-04

Glue the sandpaper to the back of the card! when you swipe it through the slot, it sands down the reader, Maybe it give you a discount, Now that's being constructive!

Bevity (author)Bosun Rick2013-07-28

Oh I laughed and sprayed the soup I was eating for lunch. Thanks for that. This sandpaper invention for destroying our credit cards has me thinking. We could cut back on EVERYTHING! Do we really need to toast that bread? Why not just save the toaster for special occasions? Store it with the Christmas ornaments OR, we can remove the plug and reattach it when we get an unquenchable toast attack. Another idea: We can put a padlock on the hot water tap and when cold water just doesn't cut it, we could grudgingly unlock it. A lot of us make unnecessary trips with the car. To remedy this, we could remove the steering wheel and put it back on when we really need to drive somewhere. If that isn't enough hindrance, we could also remove both windshield wipers and put them back on... what a drudge. Just make it really inconvenient to do everything and I bet we would stop doing those things. Think of the money we would save.......... ahem.... (No items were harmed in this message)

KrestenK (author)Bevity2017-09-01

I love this

Pianoplayer01 (author)Bevity2014-01-01

Or we could uninstall Windows until we actually needed to go online

moneyhacker (author)2013-07-01

Thank you for all of your comments so far. Seems we have stirred up a bit of a hornets nest!

We really do appreciate all of your feedback, both positive and negative. We're just as keen to hear from people who don't like the idea (and it's just an idea) as those who do. We're especially grateful for constructive criticism and suggestions that build upon, or address the flaws, in our idea.

Our aim is not to waste people's time, so we apologise if you feel this has been the case. That said, this is the internet and there are no guarantees that everything you read will be of use or to your taste. However, we do hope that we have not put you off future exploration and reading.

Please keep the feedback coming, and try not to let it bother you too much if other people's grammar is not quite as you would expect. Take a deep breath and try to find it in your heart to offer guidance rather than derision. We are all, each and every one of us, learning.

Peace and love to you all.

grt57 (author)moneyhacker2013-07-04

I like the way you think... both your idea for slowing down spending, and your comments here. Money is just an illusion anyways.



Pianoplayer01 (author)grt572014-01-01

Money is just an illusion? People with plenty of money don't say that. :-)

Bevity (author)moneyhacker2013-07-28

I liked this post. I would never destroy my card, but it was a good post that gets us thinking about saving. And it's always good to laugh.

Pianoplayer01 (author)2014-01-01

This would be a real pain in the asteroid when you come yo pay for your petrol. Especially when the service station is really busy.
Another way to ruin your cards is to store them in your wallet with the magnetic strip of one in direct contact with the magnetic strip of another. In a short period of time both cards become demagnetised.

pavdavid (author)2013-10-08

how does this help?

stephenfitton (author)2013-07-01

I MAKE MONEY WITH MY CREDIT CARDS! not much but still money-TRUE.
After finding a few lower swap -over banks at a lower interest rate and paying down to zero .They have allowed me to bring accross 90% of my debt from another bank. Interest here is 20% I reduce to 1% for 12 months. This has allowed me to get a cash out at 21% Flip it accross to a 1% .Allowing me to invest in savings account at 5%, for 11 months. (Note timing is absolutely critical as charge jumps to 21% after this period.
Costs for cash advance .Cost of account. Trying to find a higher interest (secured at a higher rate for shorter than a year is the crux for success.Not for the faint hearted!
Handled correctly you can turn this into a personal loan at a lower rate for short periods.

bigtwenty (author)stephenfitton2013-07-08


Picturerazzi (author)2013-07-02

I have two debit cards: one with exactly enough money to cover my monthly bills, gas, food & the other I don't use. If I need to transfer money it takes upwards of two business days so I have time to "think on it" about an unnecessary purchase.

It really works! Plus, no card is ruined and I have my main account for emergencies.

bigtwenty (author)Picturerazzi2013-07-08

Some banks charge for debit use and some dont. If they do, then you are wasting money. Also, what happens if your monthly bills goes up for some reason on one month? You must put it on the next card. I would get too confused on which card is for what.

steveofthenw (author)2013-07-02

OK, right out in front of all this is what can now be considered an axiom: You cannot function in this society without money. It is literally the only tool we are allowed to use. Use to be, you could walk into the woods with a couple of tools (axe, rope, etc...), maybe a horse, a firearm, & a rasher of bacon & make your way pretty nicely in due time. Now, you literally can't drink clean water without paying for it.
Having said all that, what I have is one credit card with a low limit that I use when needed & pay off fully every month, & one with a really high limit that I never use; it's my "ejector seat". If I get in a bind, need a plane ticket RIGHT NOW, whatever, I got it.
Works pretty good so far.

bigtwenty (author)steveofthenw2013-07-08

NEVER using a credit card is not good for your credit. Its silly I know, as credit scores are a scam. Also, not having enough credit, open lines of credit or old enough credit can also hurt. I think this tutorial is best used for those of us who cant handle spending, and I think its on the surface not that useful but if you really were to wear out your cards, you would have no choice and it might train you to think before saying "i really need that useless item".

stephenf (author)2013-07-07

Interesting technique(s) - I just do not follow the logic.

shmoopie1812 (author)2013-07-04

This is a joke right?!?!?

hertzgamma (author)2013-07-03

Just use cash. First you see it (or not :[ ), second you count your spendings very easily.

poley (author)2013-07-01

I think this instructable raises a number of interesting issues:

Sometimes products are more about the story they tell and the questions they raise rather than practical use. The main idea I think this one suggests is "Wouldn't it be good if you knew how much you were spending without having to log in to internet banking constantly?" - so this is a terrible way to do that, but can anyone come up with some better ways because they would be really good!

Self-exclusion is a well known phenomenon in debt management (search the internet for 'credit card in an ice block'). Unfortunately telling someone with serious spending issues to 'have some self control' is like telling someone with depression to 'cheer up'. This instructable certain draws attention to that too.

The instructables editors have a sense of humour. Some of instructables users don't. :)

stephenfitton (author)poley2013-07-02

Amongst other things I debugged the first printers of such terror cards,an interesting sideline was a card that came out of VEGAS it had a liquid crystal screen that recorded up and down movement of your balance, Flexible .display was permanent, that was 13 years ago.

MiggD (author)2013-07-01

Good idea saving money and all, but the sand paper will just scratch the card and unusable. ie. emergencies, and what not.

Alienjones (author)2013-07-01

Ha, ha, ha... "The best don't use buying as a treatment for boredom" I've ever seen. Boy, will my daughter learn a lesson quickly after this Now where did I put those scissors? Oh by the way will it be OK to use my wife's dressmakers scissors? I'm sure the brides won't mind some rough cuts in their gowns... Ha Ha ha...

profeponcho (author)2013-06-30

I use a rubber band.

funkytaco (author)profeponcho2013-06-30

I like the rubber band idea. How about not applying for a credit card or getting one with a low limit? We could all use some self-control and this sandpaper measure isn't much of a stop gap.

profeponcho (author)funkytaco2013-07-01

Give up credit cards long time ago. I dont spend money I dont own. I have two debit cards. One for "everyday things" and other (the one w/the rubber band) for "huge" things. 9 out of 10 times the rubber band dont make its way out of my card =) You cant imagine the sate of peace of mind you can achive!

funkytaco (author)profeponcho2013-07-01

Exactly. I put more money into monitoring my credit score than I do on my credit card.

vanyo (author)2013-07-01

Great idea. I can think of many variations on this. Like maybe spiking your food with a mildly toxic substance to encourage you to not eat to much.

(I use my credit cards for everything I purchase, but always pay on time - never pay interest)

ferjanyen (author)2013-07-01

why not cuting the card with the scissors and replace it only after the debt has being paid??

elizabethd22 (author)2013-07-01

well geeze, mister, if I had two hundred dollars a day to spend on whatever I wanted, I'd be able to pay off my credit card too. I'm lucky if I have two hundred dollars extra a month.


mid_life_crisis (author)2013-07-01

This one is significantly easier for the ladies to implement, but the simplest approach is to use a debit card and keep it in a checkbook register. Every time you use the card, you make an entry and adjust your balance. This will force you to consider whether or not you should be spending that money.

handprints (author)2013-07-01

love it! I think the idea is to damage the magnetic strip so I can't use my card in a reader. The vendor has to manually key in the numbers which gives me time to pause and have second thoughts. If I just sandpaper the strip myself to damage it, I would lose a behavior modification chance: feeling the sandpaper BEFORE I complete a purchase. This step is also very important when I make online purchases. Again. Love IT!

DaveB13 (author)2013-07-01

This article inspired me to slam a door on my hand to get my mind off the headache caused by reading it. Thanks, never would have thought to do that otherwise.

Pkranger88 (author)2013-07-01

So, how many times do you pull your card out before it doesn't swipe at all because of the scratches?
Just saying...
How about making a flap over the card so you introduce an additional step into removing it?

RandyKC (author)2013-07-01

I like the immediate feedback of the "Gauge" card, but the problem is overall spending among different credit cards and cash. A dashboard at that level would be useful. Smart phones are becoming ubiquitous so a dashboard "Gauge" available through a bank website would be helpful. The problem is that would not serve the banks best 'interest'.

alcurb (author)2013-07-01

The idea is cute, but I agree with another user that this would render the magnetic stripe unreadable after a couple of uses. I noticed in the above step 4 image that the card has a chip in it. Well you'll need to eventually disable that too. So perhaps a card-shaped carbon paper (remember those?) on the other side to short out the chip. I know it's all in fun.

A practical option, although it will cost you a little, is to get rid of your credit cards, have a regular debit card with no credit card capability, and buy a pre-paid credit card which may look almost identical to a regular credit card. Then when you go out to eat with friends, no one would suspect when you flip out the pre-paid "credit card" after a fabulous dinner and say "I got this one". ;-)

moneyhacker (author)2013-07-01

So, if placing sandpaper in your wallet is little more than a gimmicky idea and unlikely to bring about genuine behaviour change, are there better ways to help create a pause for thought? And how might card issuers provide consumers with continual feedback in support of longer term savings and/debt reduction objectives?

This idea, called 'Gauge', might just catch on:

What do you reckon?

Wingloader (author)2013-07-01

It's amazing that this instructable has actually caused people to argue. We will never have world peace. Ever. Period.

4sc4n10 (author)2013-07-01

"50 uses of sandpaper you never thought of". We already have two :-)

Auxilium (author)2013-07-01

Your card will be dead by the time you'll get to grocery store for first time...

rumcajz (author)2013-06-30

You can save more money with a scissor. Simply cut your card in two pieces :D

dagaherz (author)rumcajz2013-07-01

Oh nooo
That is the idea to get 2 credit cards!!!


poikilotherm (author)rumcajz2013-06-30

Good point.

sergorsam (author)2013-06-30

This could cause damage to the magnetic encoding strip which would render the card useless.

dagaherz (author)sergorsam2013-07-01

Somebody is not picking the idea up...

Good sense of humour is welcome, guy. Please, think of a better method before christmas and post it!!!

yespotato (author)sergorsam2013-06-30

thats the point...

vincent7520 (author)2013-07-01

Bad idea.
Yo want me to remain depressed the whole week (and week end on top of that) ?…
I shrug in despair just at the idea !

redfoxtrystman (author)2013-06-28

You need to tell people that this will break there card. This is not a good thing to tell people. You need to add a disclaimer that this is a JOKE and to not really do it

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