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Posts tagged with: cash only

Converting to Cash

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Going back to my recent post on The Cost of Convenience – Snack Time, I am finding the temptation to overspend or spend in situations where I don’t need to has become more of an issue as my debt load and monthly obligations continue to drop.  I have more available income and carrying plastic around…well, I have found myself making some bad decisions.  So effective immediately, I am converting to an all cash system.  I’ve cut up two of my cards and put the others away.

I will still pay my monthly bills online using either my debit cards or bank bill pay.  But for any “spending money” I will be withdrawing the money at the beginning of the month and sticking to it.  This money will be my grocery money and the money I would pay the kids for work (since they no longer get an allowance.)  And I’m debating the car money.  Obviously I have to get gas at least twice a month, and paying with a plastic is most convenient.  Not to mention maintenance, etc. that is not always predictable.  I’m considering opening a car only account (checking, that is, not credit) and using that card only for card related expenses.  Thoughts?  But since on most months there are monies left over for that budget item, I really want it in an interest bearing account.  So I’m still figuring that one out.

But essentially I am taking away all possibility of over-spending on a whim or giving into the temptation of convenience or acquiescing to the kids’ “mom, can I have this?”  And when the money is gone for the month…it’s gone.  The kids are used to this on a smaller scale as I’ve been trying it out on a weekly basis…and I’ll just tell them, we are out of  spending money for the week, we have to make due with what we have.  And they are getting that.

Teaser: New monthly budget coming soon as we have cut back on some other expenses to keep us on target for our 6 month credit payoff goal!


November!

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I’ve updated the numbers.  Although you won’t see a huge drop I am very relieved that I did not add new debt.  October was expensive.  I used the debit card WAY too much and went WAY off budget…..BUT not so far off that I used a credit card.  Whew.

Beginning today, I am back on the strict cash only and updating the budget spreadsheet.  You’ll notice that my emergency fund is back down again.  I ended up filing taxes “married, filing separately” and it cost me more money than anticipated.  I took it from the Emergency Fund.  I now have a new challenge in front of me because I adjusted my federal tax withholding to be better prepared for 2012 taxes than I was for 2011 taxes so my monthly income has been reduced by $300.  I’m making adjustments in the budget but am a bit frustrated that this means less money can go toward debt.  On the upside, I am making extra income pretty consistently with the side business.  I remain optimistic that it will always work out!

And so we head into the month of thankfulness!   If my divorce is indeed finalized this month, I will be most thankful!