Finances: April Cash-Only Diet Results

So, as many of you know, I was doing a cash-only diet during the month of April. I gave an update here during the month. I just wanted to give a final result on how things went for us.

So, as I mentioned here on day two, we used our debit card. It was a debit card transaction on a site where I’ve used it before so I felt it was safe. And, also here I mentioned we used our credit card to pay for some tickets. Again, we used our credit card because I felt more comfortable using the credit card at this specific site since it was new to me. In the event someone gets our personal information, I don’t want to be kicking myself saying “WHY” (remember when I snacked here on protecting your identity and someone getting our debit card number – it’s safer for me!). I just put a debit in our check ledger for the amount of the tickets and paid that along with our normal payment. I viewed the purchase as cash, but it was technically plastic.

Sure, I didn’t want to use plastic or credit, but I don’t consider either of these a failure by any means. I challenged my budget where I could. I had to find creative ways to pay for a birthday party (for a first birthday at that). Good thing I had a few survey checks and a Target gift card from Ebates coming to help with that! I could have used our debit card, but if I could challenge myself to find a different way, I wanted to try! This birthday party made me realize I need to creae a birthday budget as a goal in order to have the funds set aside for these celebrations!

And, I just want to report now that I DID NOT use our unused grocery budget monies to pay for anything! That was a personal challenge and I tried really hard to stay committed to that one (since that money usually went to my crazy addiction to gourmet coffee or lunch out).

Some of the areas I found more challenging were:

  • The limited gourmet coffee. Last week, I only had gourmet coffee once (aka Starbucks/Kidd Coffee)! These were sacrifices for me!! This was more of a personal challenge than a cash-only challenge. I think I’m way too addicted to gourmet coffee and I need to sloooow way down on the drive-thru!!
  • Paying Inside for Gas purchases. It wasn’t the price of gas that was challenging, (but that makes me equally sick), but using cash to pay for the gas. Paying inside the station is just not efficient for me. I drive around with small children and when I need gas and want to stop, I don’t want to have to pull my kids out of the car to go inside to pay. That just doesn’t make sense to me.

I plan on doing the cash-only diet again (and get my friends to join again too). Right now, I just want to review our current budget and see where things can be modified. I’ve already decided that our $100 grocery budget was too high so I scaled that back. I think I would have just let that be had I not done this challenge this month. I need to find other money-saving opportunities if they exist. I also plan on using cash-only for the grocery visits, at least for now! I am soooo excited to continue with our 2008 Financial Goals now more than ever!

Did you join in the cash-only diet this month? Please leave comments and tell us how you did! I know a personal friend did and I was sooo amazed at how disciplined she was. Well, I wasn’t that surprised because she’s pretty determined, but they did make sacrifices and we did it together too!

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on May 02, 2008

1 Comment

  • Marianne Thomas - May 03, 2008 @ 3:09 am
    1

    Andrea, I think I’m going to go cash-only for May (well, minus the past couple of days!); I’ve done this before, too. It really does force you to stop and think before you buy.

    I couldn’t agree more with you on using a Debit card at the gas pump; I have three, too, young ages at that. Using Debit at the pumps is just safer and more frugal with your time.

    And, if you fill up at Kroger, you can only fill up $35 in Debit at the pump (*sigh* – $35 doesn’t fill my tank) so you’re forced to stay at or below that “budget” amount.

    I’ll link to you if/when I post on this; I’ve got bloggity catching up to do!!

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