Money is the root of all evil. Cash is King. Money can’t buy happiness. You have heard them all before, the positive and the negative about money. And as I have said before, your relationship with money is personal. But, if you want to take control of your money and learn some new habits, you NEED to use cash. It may not be forever (or, if you are like me, it might just be what you have been looking for your entire life!) but I believe it is necessary to get your spending under control and set limit
I have written about tracking your spending to see where your money is going. I have written about pulling out all of your bills, listing and prioritizing them by facing your debt. I have written about starting a budget.
Now I want to tell you what to do with that budget by using the knowledge you have found in your research.
You can see my Cash Wallet System here and read about my categories as well. I made the little dividers out of scrapbook paper, a label maker, and a laminator. Some Dave Fans talk of using little binder clips, but I find them too bulky in my wallet.
Have you ever been ready to purchase something and your card is declined, or you go online to check your account, and you have a negative balance PLUS too many overdraft fees? My bank has this excellent buffer system in place. They will not reject your card or bounce your check up to $400 BUT…they charge you $25 to use this feature EVERY. TIME! Thanks, but no thanks. I would rather not do that. I would rather know that I have the money in my wallet for that lunch, those groceries, or this 50-pound bag of dog food I have been holding for 20 minutes as the woman asks the cashier what flavor bird food her cockatoo might enjoy this week.
Take Back Control
Sticking with a cash system will give you back the control that was lost. It will give you the opportunity to FEEL like you are in charge of your money. If you create the habit of only spending $350 a month on groceries, then you may be able to go back to the debit card again. But, if you ever get that feeling of losing control, go right back to cash only. The reigns need to be tightened, and you need to know where every penny is going.
There have been instances where I have gotten to the register and gone over my $175 grocery budget (enough for two weeks) by $25 and taken it from my miscellaneous category. But that is why I have it. It’s like a buffer. Or if my son needs money for a field trip, there is no panic because I get it from the miscellaneous category.
There is no anxiety about money anymore. And there is no fighting or feeling like I have to hide everything from my husband. No guilt because I just have no idea how I spent the entire paycheck. I lived it. I get it. Use cash.
You can find the other articles in this series here: