October is over and so is my cash-diet for the month. Actually, I am sticking with cash-only in some areas, but let me first share my results.
I am excited about what we were able to do just by using cash with the guidelines I have set for myself. I had to use the credit card two times since I had to make online purchases for our 5k (online registration) and a hotel stay. I actually had cash for the hotel but there ended up being an issue with the charge so I used my card to pay. It was a good thing too because there was an issue with the rate and I had to get a credit – easier to credit a card versus cash!
So, because I knew it was used, I just took a debit out of our check ledger and knew that money was going right to pay that amount immediately on the credit card. To me, it was a wash since the money was accounted for.
All in all, I have to say this was super easy! The large reason is because we have our budget established and know where our money is going. Whether I'm using a card, direct bill, or cash, we know the money is there and where it needs to go to. I came in under budget each week for the groceries and just rolled the money to the next week. So, I was able to save some that way too.
I like the idea of using cash, but sometimes it does pay to use your debit card. For example, I would always receive those Catalinas for $10 off a $75 purchase at Meijer. Well, when you use cash those won't print. I would almost always use them when I had one too. So, I may just use a card for Meijer since that is the only store that prints these.
I also don't think cash makes good sense for me at the gas station – maybe for my hubs though. When you have kids in the car, you can't leave them in there and it's a pain to take them out to pay. Well, since I have $500 in gas cards, I won't have to worry about paying for gas for a while anyway, but I don't anticipate continuing to use cash for gas in the future.
Bottom line is that even with 2 months left in 2008, we are continuing to work on our 2008 Financial Goals. We have made some great progress and I am really proud of it! I think doing this cash-only diet just made me really concentrate on every purchase more. I'll admit it is easier to do that and I want to get out of using the debit card where it makes sense.
Did you join in the cash-only diet this month? Please leave comments and tell us how you did! Did anything surprise you? Do you think you'll continue? Do tell!!!