One of the best tips that I can offer for reeling in monthly spending is to use cash instead of the debit card (and of course NEVER the credit card). The cash envelope system is another money saving strategy inspired by my financial guru, Dave Ramsey. Hubby and I have found that we spend wisely when we pay cash versus swiping a card at checkout. There’s something psychological about handing over physical money that makes it a heck of a lot harder to part with and makes us more aware of what we’re spending on. And when I say cash envelope system, I literally mean that we withdraw an allotted amount of money each week from the ATM and place it in the envelope pictured above. This money covers all of our expenses outside of standard monthly bills and rent. If we head out to the grocery store or farmers’ market, we grab the cash envelope. If we are down to our last $20 at the mid week point, well, then we can’t buy much else for the rest of the week, and that’s that! When the money is gone, we do not head to the ATM, we simply quit spending money until the next week rolls around and we have a freshly filled cash envelope.
Common sense from our grandparent’s generation that has been lost on our generation. Personally, I feel our society has become a bunch of zombies mindlessly swiping a piece of plastic multiple times of day, every day of the week. Convenience can be a detriment in the long run.