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Old 03-20-2013, 11:59 AM   #11
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Easy solution - leave your debit card at home I did that at first to break the habit when we first started cash-only budgeting, and whenever I find myself starting to get lax about it again the card goes back in my underwear drawer until I'm back in the cash only mindset and not tempted.

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Old 03-20-2013, 07:44 PM   #12
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Re: Question about using cash?

I agree that you should try it first. I admit, we use credit cards exclusively these days because we get points but when my husband and I moved in together we went all cash until we paid off my grad school loans and our cars.
It was hard to get used to at first, but after a few months it was second nature.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:31 PM   #13
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We keep a budget in Excel that I adjust as needed when DH gets paid every two weeks (his check is not regular, though I always have an idea of what to expect). We have 4 color coded categories. Bills and savings come out first (rent, utilities, student loans, etc), then bills for "extras" like Netflix (things we could cut if necessary). All of our bills are on automatic payments. The rest of our budget is cash. First important things like groceries then our fun money. I think the important thing is to budget every dollar and get into the mindset that "I don't have money for that" when small things come up. Then when a need arises you'll have to think about it and pull from savings rather than just spending what's in your checking.

In a way it's easier for me because I budget out of necessity - we don't have much extra. So I can't just use my debit because the money in checking is budgeted for bills (I do keep about $200 extra in there, but that's for when bill payment dates and paycheck dates don't match up well). But it's all about mindset. Set a goal for your savings and you won't be so tempted to spend frivolously. And definitely take out your savings when you get paid, so the money isn't there to spend.

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Old 03-20-2013, 08:46 PM   #14
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Subbing in... I want to learn about using cash too!

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Old 03-20-2013, 08:55 PM   #15
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Re: Question about using cash?

I'm way more accountable if I use my debit or cc. I was a cash or check only person until I married my DH, I didn't even have a cc. All my young, foot-loose and fancy-free days were with cash, and so I can have a $20 on me and I'm thinking, "I'm rich! And it's burning a hole in my pocket!!"
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumblepurr
I'm way more accountable if I use my debit or cc. I was a cash or check only person until I married my DH, I didn't even have a cc. All my young, foot-loose and fancy-free days were with cash, and so I can have a $20 on me and I'm thinking, "I'm rich! And it's burning a hole in my pocket!!"
I was the same way before we really started following a budget. But now that we use envelopes I don't think about it that way. It's not like I have a random $5 bill in my wallet to spend on whatever. I take my grocery envelope to the grocery store once a week and I stay on budget because that's all I have to spend. My fun money stays in my envelope in the cupboard because I want to save it for something good.

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Old 03-21-2013, 08:29 AM   #17
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Re: Question about using cash?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamatoclaire View Post
I was the same way before we really started following a budget. But now that we use envelopes I don't think about it that way. It's not like I have a random $5 bill in my wallet to spend on whatever. I take my grocery envelope to the grocery store once a week and I stay on budget because that's all I have to spend. My fun money stays in my envelope in the cupboard because I want to save it for something good.

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LOL, All my play money is tied up on PP. It certainly helps for saving for something big.

We did use cash in envelopes for almost a year, but for us, we are far more cautious with the cards than cash. Any extra money that we had saved from shopping smart in the grocery store with cash, would get siphoned away by trivial purchases for the kids or ourselves, because we had "left over money to play with". That doesn't happen when we use the cards and we end up saving even more, for nicer things in the end.

We have a check book where we record purchases for grocery trips. Often we are under for the month, then that extra is used for great sales like the buy one get one free meat sales. During those sales we will go over "budget" for that week, but end up saving a lot during the next few months that allow us to go over the allotted amount for great sales. So in the end we are saving even more. That would never happen for us if we used cash :/.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:56 AM   #18
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Re: Question about using cash?

I kinda think the same way as you as in when we spend a little to much in one area we cut back on another...hubby doesnt thinks thats how a budget works! Becasue we shouldnt be going over int he first place, but sometimes you have to or do by accident. But honestly i tell him if we spend $$8 more dollars on chips for example, then we just dont get the $8 steak and make due. How is that not a budget? It will balance the same. I think cash is a great idea. This is howo much you haev to spend and thats it. It really would make you more congnisent when shopping and start counting the priec of everythign to make sur eyou have enuf cash. Its just easier to get out the debit card. Now you have me cosnidering just goign by cash!
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:29 AM   #19
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Re: Question about using cash?

I am a SAHM of 2, expecting #3. Dh is a 5th year teacher is SC, he nets about $2100 a month, so I have to budget well. We took the Financial Peace course by Dave Ramsey. We created a budget and use the envelope system now. Before we did this I always worried ab the money and there was NEVER any left over when it was time for a new paycheck. We lived paycheck to paycheck and used CC's.

Now that we use the envelope system, I typically don't worry about money.....only occassionally and it's usually the food budget, but this is also bc we have recently made the switch to whole foods which are more expensive. I can't describe how freeing it is to be able to buy clothes(or whatever) and not put it on the cc, bc it's in the budget and the money is in it's own envelope. If/when a category runs out of money, I wait until the next paycheck when there's money again.

We have paid off all of our cc debt and now looking back, I realize they were a huge part of the problem. It was a cycle of buy it now, pay it off with the next paycheck, now I have no money left to buy this thing this month bc of paying off the cc, so I put it on the cc, cycle repeat.

I do keep all bill money and gas money in the bank and pay online or use debit at the pump....I don't want to haul my kids inthe gas station. But I do allot a certain amount and not go over. We also now put money in savings every month, we never did that before. I occassionally order online, but only if that envelope has money in it. I put it on the cc and take the money out of the envelope to be re-deposited and I pay it off as soon I I put it in the bank. I don't order it if there isn't money to cover it and I don't wait until the next paycheck, or even for the bill to come in, to pay it.

It took a few months to get used too, but I am so glad that I made the switch. I finally understand why the course is called Financial Peace. When you "feel" the cash leave, it makes you think about whether or not it's worth it. It will change your mindset forever!
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