Cash ONLY Approach To Budgeting!

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As I said on my about me page, writing stuff down always makes me feel waaaaay more accountable. That said, I will be writing down one of our goals that will be put into action starting this Sunday, January 25th! There are lots of different money saving topics my hubby and I have been talking about doing and well, that’s all… just talking. Now its time to put all that talk into action and really start accomplishing one of these goals.

This may sound a little odd considering I have a blog about saving money… but we really don’t have a weekly budget set in stone. I know, I know…what?!? I agree completely! We talk about what we want to spend weekly but hardly ever stick with it. I’ve always never really liked putting a budget together, dealing with numbers, math and tediously keeping track of all our spending. In my opinion it always felt like so much time waisted, so whats the solution?!?

Well, I actually feel Ive found a perfect solution. We will be starting this Sunday, what I call the CASH ONLY approach. Basically we’ve been discussing over the past couple weeks what each of us NEEDS not want in terms of weekly spending money, not including gas or any bills we receive in the mail. Since my hubby’s in the military, though, he does need money for weekly haircuts (yes, I know I could cut his hair but lets just says hes a bit of a perfectionist) and also for those just in case lunches where hes forced to eat out instead of bringing a lunch from home. For myself, I need money for groceries, diapers and any personal care items.

After going over everything we decided that I would get $75 per week and my hubby will get $25, for a total of $400 per month. Now to some of you this may seem really high but for us at this point its just the right amount. Remember this $75 will cover ALL my weekly expenses, everything you can think of except bills and gas. The nice part is we can always stop, review our progress and change the amount to more or less if need be.

Alright, so now to put our Cash ONLY approach into action. Every Sunday when I go pick up the newspaper I will stop at the ATM and get $100 out ($25 for my hubby and $75 for me), that’s it! The $75 CASH will go in my Wallet and my debit card will be pulled out. Shopping with ONLY cash in my wallet will leave me with no options but one, to stick with my weekly budget. The best part is no calculator or budget spreadsheet needed… PLUS when I shop with cash I feel it more. I’m not sure if that makes much sense. When I slide a card, though, it doesn’t give me that same feeling, the feeling of realizing all the money that was just spent. On the other hand, when I pull three $20 bills out of my wallet I KNOW I’m about to spend $60 and it doesn’t always feel that great! Although, it does make me motivated to stretch my hard earned dollar and I’m hoping it will motivate me to stick with my cash only approach too.

Do you have a certain way you budget your money?
If so, I would love to hear about it.

Stay tuned for progress with our cash only approach…
Join The Discussion

Comments 9

  1. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Good for you! My husband and I are probably going to start Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace classes in a couple of weeks. I’ve been an avid radio listener, and we’ve adhered to many of his principles. However, budgeting is our downfall. We try to be so very frugal and spend hardly anything at all. But I think we’re missing some nickel and dime spending that’s adding up. You’re motivating me to get going with our budget and cash-only spending. THANKS!

  2. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Sounds like your plan is realistic and do-able. I agree with you about how you “feel it more” to pull cash out of your wallet versus just swiping a debit card. You can do it! Keep us posted.

  3. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    If you find that the allowance you have given your selves is fairly easy to work with, then you could challange your selves to not spend it all by taking anything that is left at the end of the week and put half away for an unexpected expence and the other half towards a goal like a fun family day or a nice date with your husband

    i’m so excited my friend told me about your site, I just love it.


  4. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    I have been doing the cash only approach for a while now and it has really helped me watch my spending. Looking forward to hearing your results.
    Also, thanks for posting about the Kraft contest daily. I finally won my coupons!

  5. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Great job! The first step is always the hardest. I set up my budget about 3 months ago, and I’m using the cash envelope system/Dave Ramsey’s plan. It really opens up your eyes to all you spend.

    Does your weekly amount include your grocery budget, too?

  6. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    I’ve heard the cash approach is a great way to track your spending. My husband and I just signed up on and I’m highly addicted to it already. You add all of your accounts onto this *free* site (checking, savings, investments, credit cards, loans, etc.) and its a one-stop shop to keep an eye on your money. There are graphs, charts, and money saving tips so you can see where all your money goes. Although the one caveat to really utilize this is to make sure you purchase everything with a debit or credit card so you have an electronic cash flow of where your money went. It works well for me since my husband and I have different credit cards and checking accounts so we basically now have a household total of our expenditures. You’ll have to check it out; its a great budgeting tool. I love your site by the way!

  7. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Sounds like a great plan! My hubby and I are planning a cash only spending plan once we get our tax return back – I’m going to get a set amount for the year for groceries, personal care items – everything but household bills, gas & doctors (including our furry friends doctors). I can’t wait to challenge myself and see if I can have some left over at the end of the year! Your site certainly helps me save a ton of $$ Thanks and Good Luck!

  8. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Thanks so much for the tip about Ive actually never heard of the site, so Im exited to take a look. I like the fact that its free too!:)

    Cent with Love,
    Yes, this includes our groceries too! Everything from diapers to personal care items and even clothes! The only things that are not included are any bills and gas.

  9. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    I’m a bartender and I’ve had a cash income for years now. My husband pulls in a weekly paycheck and we have two kids. The envelope system is great! But lately I’ve wanted to challenge myself more. Now that the holidays are past us, I have everything I could want right now (kids too) so I have only been buying food. I’ve found that making the house a fun place for the kids and keeping myself busy at home, we don’t go out much. If I don’t go out I don’t feel compelled to spend (no matter how good the deal is). We stick to playdates and parks for entertainment. Doing the coupon thing has really given me perspective. I work so hard to save a dollar that now I don’t want to spend unless I NEED it. It’s the head down march forward approach. -Amy from
    You know I love your site, cause you’ve seen mine :o) “Coupon Mania!”

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