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September Challenge

September 1st, 2005 at 07:27 pm

I am starting this journal to track my experiment with paying for daily expenses with cash rather than credit card. I want to see if I will spend less when using cash. Perhaps I will continue this journal after this month to help keep me accountable with my budgeting and paying off debt, or perhaps I won't. I will decide that later.

I also do not know whether I will continue to live on a cash basis...in fact my hope is that I will show we do not spend more using a credit card because I prefer to use a credit card. :-) It is more convenient and I like the cash rewards I get from my credit card. At the end of this month, I will have to also consider the cash reward we would have gotten had we used our credit card. If it turns out we do spend less using cash, we will continue that way. My goal is to spend less and pay off debt as rapidly as possible while still enjoying our lives.

I feel that I got off to a bad start on my experiment because I did my weekly grocery shopping yesterday and since I only had $10 left in my grocery fund, I used my credit card. I could have waited to shop but I wanted to get my 10% senior discount which I can only get on Wed. Today I subtracted the amount charged from my cash I withdraw leaving it in the bank to cover my charge.

This morning we went to the credit union and I withdrew cash for at least until the 15th . We have decided if there is still money available on the 15th we will take the rest of the month's cash then, but if not, we will have to wait until my SS check arrives on the 21st to get the rest. This should make us very careful about our spending. We already feel slightly stressed about using cash...we are just not used to it!

We went to the airport to meet our daughter and grandson. It was basically just for her to hand off our grandson (5) to us as we are taking care of him until Monday while she goes to Burning Man. She thought she'd have almost an hour with him before her flight but due to her forgetting to check her baggage all the way through...she had to get her luggage and recheck it and so we had to go very fast to the luggage pickup and then to recheck her luggage, so she only had a very few minutes to say her good-bye to her son. He is used to staying with us though so he was ok with it, probably better than her! :-) She insisted on paying for our parking, giving us $10...we may have to pay for parking when we take him to the airport to meet her so it can also go for part of that.

On the way home, my dh picked up a part for the car. The car is leaking oil and he is hoping he can fix it easily and cheaply. But just in case we have an appt at the garage tomorrow. We really hope it won't cost much as we do not have enough cash to pay for expensive car repairs. But one step at a time...one day at a time..I am not going to worry about it yet.

We also went to Walgreens on the way home. My dh was getting hungry so he used his allowance to buy a couple snacks which he shared with grandson and me. I bought a couple personal care items from my allowance...one I don't need right now but it will be free with rebate, so I got it. The other was a .... BOGO. These 2 things came out of my allowance. I had $20 left from last pay period so this month in an effort to keep more money in the bank, I subtracted that amount from my allowance for this pay period. Hope I don't regret that but think I can get along. I also bought a couple grocery items.

Came home for lunch and ate leftovers plus some veggie “chicken” nuggets from freezer.

I received 3 coupons for free cookies in the mail. I won these online! We had forgotten to buy milk for our grandson (we drink 1% & nonfat and want him to have wholemilk), so we also used 2 of the coupons.

Dinner was tuna noodle casserole and buttered peas, again all from our freezer and pantry. Evening snack will be our *free* cookies and milk. :-)

Spending today:
Airport parking: $6 (cash provided by our dd)

Car part: $5

groceries & personal care items - $14.08

cookies – 2 pkg. - FREE with coupons I won online! We almost never buy cookies and our grandson really likes these. :-)

milk - $2.29

Total spent today: $27.37 (not counting what my dh spent from his own allowance) – $6 of this was from our dd's money.

So far we are a little anxious but yet excited about this cash experiment. I realize many people live on cash everyday but we have used credit cards for years. My dh has always taken his allowance in cash but I have rarely carried cash.

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