Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pondering: Is A Cash-Only System the Way to Go?

I'll admit it: I'm terrible with money. I always have been. And even in spite of my attempts to manage my money better, I'm still terrible. Confession: I LOVE spending money. It doesn't even matter what it's being spent on, most of the time. I like to shop, I like to buy things, I like to have things. I'm sure there's some psycho-analytical reason for all of this, but I've never had it evalutated. Maybe I should.

When I was in college especially, I would say, "I'm too young to worry about money", and I would spend every cent my parents sent me. Then the next week when another check came in the mail, I would do the same thing.

Now that I'm older (wiser?) and have a dual-income household to manage, that way of life is long gone. But I'm still not managing things very well. I use my debit card for everything, and claim to keep a running tally in my head, but I'm really not that great at math. I've been burned living this way many times, and Wells Fargo is loving having me as a customer, I'm sure.

So where does that leave me? Pondering going cash-only, that's where that leaves me. But is that the way to go? I know there are more than a few financial "gurus" out there who claim that it is the only way to go, but will it work for me? Maybe I should challenge myself to not use my debit card for a month, and only use the cash that's in my pocket. That would certainly be an interesting blog series!

I'm thinking what I might try is this: pay bills out of each paycheck, then withdraw cash for everything else. Things such as groceries, gas, eating out, etc. would all be paid for with cash. I'll have to do more research on the Envelope system.

What are your thoughts? How do you handle your family's budget?

1 comment:

Jeff Wise said...

Going cash and debit card only is what got my wife and I completely out of debt a few years ago.

We have a planned monthly budget and tell our money where to go.

We place cash in a bunch of envelopes and only spend that amount of budgeted money for each category.