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Savers toot their own financial horns

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Put away debit cards
I started doing this a couple months ago. I put the debit cards away for a week and gave us each $50 for meals. My husband's gas for his car is paid for by his company, and I budgeted $60 for fuel for my car. Now, even my husband says I was right -- he did spend a lot. Our savings are growing and it feels good to have money when real emergencies pop up. Try it; you'll be glad you did.

"Do I really need this?"
I recently lost my debit card. I had to cancel and order a new one, which of course takes seven to 10 business days. I had to make my cash last the week. This would have been possible if I didn't have to buy gas. Most people do not use cash to buy gas; if they did I think more people would be more outraged than they already are at the ever-peaking gas prices. It really made me think twice about all of my purchases. I even asked myself, "do I really need this?" Or I rationalized a lot of my actions: "If I don't buy this today, then I can buy that tomorrow." I had to replenish my cash around the fifth day. This is a great way to budget if you are looking to hit certain financial goals.
Justin K.

Down to a science
We have been living with our budget forever! It's the best! There is absolutely no worry when the car insurance is due; it just gets paid because we've budgeted for it. We have it down to a science. We also get to enjoy the perks of credit card points too. We've been on 12 "points" vacations where either a portion or all of our hotel or airfare has been covered by points. What we do is take our allotted amount of cash for each pay period, use our credit cards and (we are disciplined enough to do this) match the cash to the receipt when we get home. I know I have "x" dollars left to be put toward food or whatever and plan accordingly. It isn't rocket science. People have to want to be accountable.
"Budget Hawk" M.V.

Limit walking-around cash
If you do as I do, deciding on a set amount of walking-around cash every pay period and automatically sending all the rest to savings and investment accounts, you don't worry much about out-of-control spending. I also don't use my credit cards except in real emergencies. I allow myself $60 twice a month for walking-around cash. I pay my bills (fixed amounts whether they are fixed amounts or not -- I leave enough play for seasonal variations in utilities and food) and send the rest to savings and investments. If I blow the entire $60 on payday weekend, there simply isn't any more until the next payday, and I have to figure out how to get by until then (hello Ramen noodles!). This might not work as well for families, but it works fine for a single person like me.
Anonymous's corrections policy-- Posted: June 26, 2007
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