Savers toot their own financial horns
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
"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.
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
"Budget Hawk" M.V.
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.