Every now and then you read a report or story that suggests one day we’ll live in a cashless society. However many people would argue that it’s easier to spend less money when you live with cash instead of using credit or debit cards. When you hand over real money instead of a piece of plastic, you can see just what something is costing you. In fact, if you’re considering cutting back on your spending, adapting to cash could be the best way to do it.
Budgeting for cash
For this to work you have to have a budget in place to start with. This will tell you how much cash you have available once you’ve paid all your bills each month.
Of course it makes sense to go through all your bills first anyway, to see whether you can reduce them to save even more money. Once you’ve done this you can work out a weekly budget to stick to. At the beginning of each week you can take that amount out of your account in cash. That’s the money you’ve got to live on each week. It should cover your grocery bill as well as anything else you want to buy.
Managing with cash
It’s a lot harder to spend money with cash than it is to use plastic. That’s the reasoning behind this method. If you’re in any doubt that it works, try it for a couple of weeks and see what happens. You might be surprised at the results. If you go grocery shopping you will pay in cash. What will $50 of groceries look like? How about getting all those special offers and spending $100?
Similarly if you go shopping and you see a top or a shirt you’d like to buy for $25, you have to hand over the cash. There’s no facility to buy now and worry about it later. That’s what sets this experiment apart from buying with plastic. You get to see how much something is costing you – in cash, here and now. As you’ll see, it gets much harder to spend money when you see the money going in front of your eyes.
The truth is that unless you are disciplined you will find it difficult to stick to a budget if you rely on credit and debit cards on a daily basis. Cash makes it much easier to keep track of your spending. You have a weekly budget in cash in your pocket, so you can see how much you have left simply by taking it out and counting it. When you have the cash right in front of you it’s impossible to lie about it or spend more than you can afford.
If you are struggling to stick to a budget or you simply want to save money each money and waste less money, try the cash route today. In reality, cash will only cease to exist if we let it.