I love cash. I am good with money and being a very visual person; it does my brain right to use it for purchases. It registers up there. Let me introduce you to how we roll. We use a cash system and a savings system called sinking funds. We have done it for years and it works.
For example, we need groceries. I have $175 in cold hard cash to get enough groceries for two weeks, and I have done my meal plan and made my list. Maybe one or two small extra items are ok but really. Do not go crazy! Because asking the cashier to take things out of your cart isn’t all that fun!
I have a Savvy Cents Wallet that I have had for years. It is teal and white chevron, and they don’t make it anymore. But they have some great new patterns! It has sections to sort your cash. My sections are labeled Mine, Bella, Gas, Grocery, Eggs, Date Night and Misc. The section marked ‘Mine’ is just that. My money to spend at Starbucks or lunch or maybe a movie. Whatever I wish for those two weeks and my husband gets his cash to spend how he chooses. We each get our allowance, and when it’s gone, it’s gone until next payday. Bella is our dog, and that money is for dog food.
Make it as easy as possible
I like to pay cash for my gas even though it is a little more inconvenient to run into the store every time. But I have no babies in the car anymore, and I could always use the few extra steps. Grocery, of course, is self-explanatory. I get our eggs on a farm, so I keep the money for that separate so I know I always have exact change. And Date Night happens every other week or so. We both look forward to that! Even after 20 plus years of marriage. And miscellaneous is for the uncategorized like Girl Scout Cookies or a boy needs money for a field trip or a collection jar for the school band’s trip to band camp.
I used to keep a Target section, but I took that out, and I maintain that separate. More about that later.
I have heard that many feel uncomfortable keeping a lot of cash on them but really, most of that is spent 3-4 days of getting it from the bank. I am not walking around with much.
My sinking funds are kept in a different spot. Sinking funds are little funds that one sets aside for expenses that you know are coming. Car registrations and oil changes, haircuts, prescriptions, and Christmas to name a few. I have a lot. More than Dave would think that I should but I have been doing this a long time and this works for me. I feel less anxious knowing that when something comes up, I have planned for it and I am ready! I have 15 sinking fund categories. This sinking fund is where my Target money now lives. Its called house and hygiene. And it cannot live in my wallet. The temptation is real, people.
Christmas is a big one
Imagine, if you will, October 1 rolls around and you see on facebook some Christmas Loving Friend sharing a picture of Buddy The Elf cheering that there are only 86 days until Christmas!! And you think…NO PROBLEM! There is no dread, no panicking and no tears. For the last nine months, you have been throwing $100 a month into an envelope in a safe in the back bedroom closet (Shhh!!!)! That is $900 to get a good jump start on that Christmas list…IN OCTOBER!!!! No freaking out because you can’t pay the electric bill for November and December because you need to buy your child that Hatchimal! No freaking out because it is December 20th and you had to wait to shop because you haven’t had time!
Guess what? Christmas is on the same date…EVERY YEAR! What??? Every Year??? SHUT UP!!! I tease, sort of.
That is the reason for a sinking fund and the cash wallet system. I love the control it gives me. Telling our money where to go; controlling every dollar instead of it controlling us. I choose. My decision.