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Old 03-11-2013, 07:48 PM   #1
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Question about using cash?

I would really like to start using cash to try and stay on budget. We have a set budget for things but a lot of months it seems we go over. It doesn't seem like a big deal at the time because the money is there in our checking account. We aren't going into debt or overdrafting if we go over, it just means less money that goes into savings. Does this really keep you from over spending if you do use cash? I feel like I would be very tempted to just pull out my debit card if it was over and when it comes to something like food I Know I would do it because if I went over one week I would just tell myself it's ok because the next week I will spend less.

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Old 03-11-2013, 08:31 PM   #2
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Re: Question about using cash?

Two years ago, I switched to mostly cash. I have not had credit card debt in over 15 years, paid off my student loans 12 years ago, etc. So, it was not a debt issue with me, either. But, yes, I find I spend less. I have better control over keeping to the budget. I don't overspend. I think more about my purchases. I've never pulled out my credit/debit card to cover something because I didn't have the cash. If I were you, I'd give it a try for 3 months and see how it goes.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:47 PM   #3
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Re: Question about using cash?

Cash makes you think about it more. You know you have $100... You start calculating in your head what you are spending. Suddenly that bag of chips or whatever... they might stay on the shelf.

So lets say your total is $102.98 and you then put the $2.98 on your debt. At least you are feeling it when you go over. KWIM? It's that extra step of inconvenience AND it is a way for you to hold yourself accountable. The following week instead of pulling out $100... you can only pull out $97.02 . So now you can't use the ATM and you have to use the drive through or *gasp* go inside the bank.

Another thing you could do is pay yourself first. Transfer the extra to savings BEFORE you can spend it.

In the end, only you can hold yourself to a budget. If you want to cheat, you will. You just need to decide that you really want to stick to a budget and you want whatever it is that your ultimate financial goals are. Which is more important, your future goals or a 6-pack of diet soda?
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:02 AM   #4
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Re: Question about using cash?

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In the end, only you can hold yourself to a budget. If you want to cheat, you will. You just need to decide that you really want to stick to a budget and you want whatever it is that your ultimate financial goals are. Which is more important, your future goals or a 6-pack of diet soda?
Yes to this! And, that's what cash did for me. It really made me see the budget for what it is and stick to it.
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:31 PM   #5
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Re: Question about using cash?

Dh and I are opposite of everyone else. Dh has always spent money on small things like coffee and fast food and candy and gum or a soda from the gas station, but if he doesn't have cash he won't bc he doesn't like using a card for small purchases. I find that my spending is the same either way so I use a credit card that gets cash back and use it for everything and pay it off each month.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:25 PM   #6
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Re: Question about using cash?

I made a cash envelope wallet for myself that has 6 envelopes with zippers. I fill the envelopes up twice a month when we get paid and then stick the debit card in a safe spot at home. We never take the debit card out unless we are getting cash and I refuse to pull money out more than twice a month. It really does help us to spend less. If we only have $40 left in the envelope for gas instead of filling up our gas tank because we are there and don't want to make another trip we put the $40 we had budgeted in and then wait till the next pay day to refill it. Little things like that add up over time.
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:13 PM   #7
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Re: Question about using cash?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mimi57 View Post
I made a cash envelope wallet for myself that has 6 envelopes with zippers. I fill the envelopes up twice a month when we get paid and then stick the debit card in a safe spot at home. We never take the debit card out unless we are getting cash and I refuse to pull money out more than twice a month. It really does help us to spend less. If we only have $40 left in the envelope for gas instead of filling up our gas tank because we are there and don't want to make another trip we put the $40 we had budgeted in and then wait till the next pay day to refill it. Little things like that add up over time.
I think getting the cash every two weeks might help me. I am going to try a test run and hit up the atm this weekend and take out the money we have left for our grocery budget for the month and see how it goes.
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:33 AM   #8
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Re: Question about using cash?

I thinkm it does too. I actually use to be one of those people who spent more cash if i had it, but that was before we had a budget. If I only have what I have then its all I can spend. It makes you more aware about what your buying and if you really need it. Since I get incredibly embarrassed having to take stuff off at the register it definitely makes me pay more attention in the store and keeps me from throwing in those little extras. I have found though that I can only take a weeks worth of cash with me at a time (dh gets paid every 2 weeks). If I take 2 weeks I do soend more then i should. And I have tried buying once a month sams (mainly meat) trip and then weekly shopping and have never been able to make it to the end of the month. Because of the variety and package size when getting meat at sams it always more then a months worth the only way not to do that would be to eat the same meat all month. Anyway, point is I can only take the weekly amount with me or i do end up overspending. Always reasoning- well this will be used next month too- problem is that next months savings never seem to happen by having already purchasing stuff.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:55 PM   #9
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Re: Question about using cash?

When I worked and was really budgeting to pay off my car and student loans, I would give myself a cash allowance every paycheck to spend on frivolous things like a drink at the coffee shop or going out with DH to dinner or a movie. I would give myself a $10 penalty if I went over the previous week. When it was gone it was gone. It did take a lot of discipline at first, but eventually it was second nature.

I'm now contemplating using cash with our grocery budget because we seem to have gotten all other areas of our spending under control except for that.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:56 PM   #10
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Re: Question about using cash?

I only uses cash, no credit card. Cash is easier to budget for me..but don't ignore small purchases... you will be surprise how big it is.so having a list on your spending will also help.
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