Welcome To My "Cash Only" Crusade

cashNo, really.  It’s sweet of you to pretend to be all shocked, but we both know that here at That Went Well, I am not dealing from a position of authority on saving money.  We started the TWW Community as a way to help each other with saving money, sanity, and living a little bit more luxuriously than we might have before.  And I think we’ve all done rather well so far, don’t you?

But–one of the first things any financial expert recommends is budgeting ahead, then using cash for everything for a month.  There’s nothing like having to count out your hard-earned bucks to really hit home how much you spend.  So April is “cash-only” for the Collards!

emptyDay Two:  Kill me.  Seriously.  I wanted to stop for a chai tea today at Starbuck’s and realized I didn’t have my cash envelope with me.  One impulse purchase gone (and a severely caffeine-deprived Erin) $4.99.  I bought groceries for Easter Dinner yesterday and when I whipped out my cash envelope, the clerk’s eyebrows went sky-high.  I have to admit, I hated putting a couple of toys back I wanted for Z&M’s Easter baskets but didn’t have the cash for them.  How many times do I use “it’s for the chillllldren!” as an excuse for overspending?  Two toys returned to the shelf: $12.97.

Follow along this month, then work up the courage to try it for yourself.  I’m not saying it’s easy–I’m the one whining to be put out of my misery a mere 48 hours into the experiment–but what a powerful way to teach yourself the value of a buck!

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9 responses to “Welcome To My "Cash Only" Crusade”

  1. Emmi says:

    YAH! I’m a big Dave Ramsey fan and we have been using the cash only budget since January of this year! I will agree that it’s hard but it really is helping out in the long run! And we do have a small cheat that we use…if it is an absolute emergency and we forget our cash envelope we use the debit card (I have forgotten the envelope a few times). We just have to remember when we come home that we deduct that cash out of the envelope and save it for the next week or deposit it back into the bank!

    you gotta do what works for you!!!!

  2. Kim Tucker says:

    we use cash for almost everyting I pay most of ourbll online and send the two checks I write each month to the morgage co and car loan. It is a lot easier to keep track of our budget using the enveope system. I always have my grocery coupons with the food enelope to hep me strech further. My big expense this week. Easter. I have cut bac the 4.99 coff. for the 1 buck cafe mcdonalds.still caffine just not so mch money. I think that after 1 month w/o checks and seing whre you really spend all he little extras you wil be supried at how much you save. we started doing this back when scot was driving for an ind. co hat never seemed to pay on time.just kept it up since. its he bugeting for thins like a new furnace or rof that are har to bite, hey arnt fun like vacaton or movies, good luck , i am rooting for you.

  3. erin says:

    Thanks for the advice, girlies! It’s nice to not be in this alone…

  4. WendyLou says:

    I will try this in May. Not in April because I’m going on vacation, and I’m not brave enough to haul that much cash.

  5. erin says:

    WednyLou, there’s a big difference between learning the value of a buck and getting robbed in an alleyway for your bulging wallet. I support your decision to wait ’till May! Have fun, btw…

  6. Susan S says:

    My brother-in-law does the cash only method, and it always amazes me how much money he has saved up. My husband and I recently started living on a budget and were so surprised by how much money we used to spend! I will be following your blog to see how it works out for you.

  7. Becca says:

    It’s so weird that I am so opposite. I get way more upset over a high credit card bill than little cash purchases here and there.

  8. Christina says:

    I never have cash on me. If I do, it gets spent. I do buy everything out of my own bank account with the debit card though, not much goes on the credit card unless I have the money saved up in savings to pay that off. I don’t find it that difficult to use the debit card if you’re really good at balancing the checkbook about once a week. If not, then the cash only would be a great practice at spending only what you have. Just don’t let that cash out of your sight!

  9. My problem is my little Target debit/check card. I got it because in order to use my discount I have to pay by cash, check, or this debit card. I carry it to work “in case I need it” because I don’t want to miss my discount if I purchase something. However, this little card did over $22 worth of damage in 2 days with zero to show for it thanks to having a Pizza Hut, a Starbucks, and a well-stocked grocery department. :::sigh::: I hate carrying cash. Not sure why, but I do. I’ve considered cash only because I think actually SEEING the money, rather than it being somewhere in a bank account, might make me think a little more before spending it.

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