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Last Day of the Month, Last Day of this Experiment!

September 30th, 2005 at 08:54 pm

We have been using cash for our day-to-day spending for one month today. This has not included when we spent money from our checking acct or savings acct, but only money we spent from our cash which we put into envelopes for things like groceries, gas etc....what I call our day-to-day spending. We conducted this experiment for one month in hopes of determining whether we actually spent more using credit cards and whether we could save by using cash. My dh has always taken cash for his personal allowance so it was mostly me that needed to try this.

We have learned a lot from this experiment. In the beginning I actually was hoping it would prove that we spent the same regardless of the method of payment. But we have learned that we DO spend more cautiously when we use cash. We are more anxious about our money..and work harder at making sure we stretch it until the next pay day. There were many times this month I would have spent more if I had been using a credit card. So yes it is true that we save money using cash. I hate to admit it, but it IS true, Dave Ramsey! :-)

So we have decided that we will continue to use cash for these type expenses. For us this includes church offerings, groceries, eating out, gas/oil, car repairs/tires, clothes, allowances, postage and miscl spending, however my dh will continue to use a cc at some gas stations...he will use cash when it is cheaper to buy it that way. Otherwise he will get the 5% rebate by using his card. I do not feel we spend more on gas using a card as he only uses it if he has money in his envelope and he has to take the cash to the credit union when he charges.

We will also continue to pay most bills by auto pay...mostly directly from our checking acct but some by credit card. This will ensure we keep the mileage we have built up. Also we will continue to pay for some things that will come from savings...like medical items by credit card and also our tithe. I simply cannot go back to writing checks! Been there, done that, have moved past it, don't wanna go back! At least that is how we feel now...possible in the future we will feel differently but these are items we are not likely to overspend on and we like getting the cash rebates for using our card. So we will mix the two methods somewhat. Groceries and my allowance are the two places we have tended to overspend on using credit cards so we will now use only cash for these.

Had a good workout at the gym...I am definitely feeling better. Only hurts now when I take a deep breath or cough. I called my insurance today and I still have no authorization to go to to a surgeon. They said I could call my primary doctor and he could call in and hurry things up a bit. I'm not sure that is necessary, however I will think about it. They said it should only take 7-8 days and I am feeling better so should be ok.

Today while at the gym, our local Wild Oats called me and told me I had won a baby gift basket I signed up for! So I went and picked it up. It is really nice and full of all kinds of baby food etc. I will probably donate it to Share House or someplace. Unless I am invited to a baby shower. :-) I also have some other baby things that I won online several months ago so may put it all together when I give it away. At Wild Oats we bought some apples for $1.61.

Then we went to WinCos and bought a few more groceries and a sympathy card for a family member. The card came out of my allowance. Total was $6.08. Next we went to the credit union and deposited a rebate check of $12.50..this was a cash rebate from a credit card and I paid it back onto our balance on that card. Small payment but every bit helps!

I was hungry by this time so we went to Arby's for lunch...yeah, I know, not the best food for a gall bladder problem, but I ate it anyway and it sure was good! :-) For the 2 of us we spent around $8. We shared the drink. I used my allowance for this. My dh is always treating me so it was fun to treat him for a change. That was the end of my grocery money and most of my allowance as I used it to pay for part of the groceries too. But tomorrow is payday and I feel we have done pretty well. My dh also bought a scone which he paid for out of his allowance.

When I got home I paid off all our credit card purchases for September even though they have not all been billed yet. I just want to pay off each months spending in that month...I don't like to be paying back all the time.

I don't think we will be spending any more today.

So today's spending:
Cash spent (not counting my dh's allowance)
Groceries: $8.06 ($1.56 came out of my allowance)
Sympathy Card: $2.58 (my allowance)
Arby's: about $8.00
Total cash $18.64

Non-cash spent:
Sept. CC charges paid: $170.22

Deposit made from cash rebate: $12.50
Put back on credit card (extra payment) $12.50

This is the end of my experiment. We now have a new budgeting system which I am using along with Mvelopes to assist me in keeping on track. We have simplified our finances somewhat by eliminating one credit card. We are using cash for our day-to-day spending. At some point we may not feel we need both budgeting systems and may drop Mvelopes to save the fee but at this time I like having both. I esp have learned to be more cautious in my grocery and personal spending by using cash. I have paid off all charges billed in Sept, so am starting fresh in October. I feel that we are more in charge of our money. We have $92 surplus this month which I am going to apply to another debt after I finish this journal entry. I really feel that we are much more in control of our money now.











1 Responses to “Last Day of the Month, Last Day of this Experiment!”

  1. Diolla Says:

    Congratulations on being honest with yourself. I also use cash for my day to day expenses and my CC for gas and online stuff but I never charge more than I have in the bank to pay it. I found that even when using a debit card I spend more with it than the cash.

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