I wanted to take a minute to talk a little bit about the most common excuse I hear for NOT budgetting in the way I outlined in my previous post... spending with cash instead of a card.
"I don't want to carry that much cash around!"
Or....five billion other version of that excuse.
I say "excuse" because that's exactly what it is. It's an excuse.
I used to be a huge Dr. Phil fan. I even went to a taping of his show once.
Dr. Phil has a recurring theme he likes to throw at people when they come up with a bazillion excuses not to follow his advice:
"How's your way working out for you?"
The idea being, of course, that they are in front of him for the very reason that their way ISN'T working out for them.
So when people balk at my way of budgeting by saying something crappy about dealing in cash, I say "Well, how's your way of doing it all on cards working out for you?"
It's not. That's why they are asking me about my budgeting......because their way doesn't work.
Here is my own piece of advice to throw in there:
Anything is as hard or annoying or complicated as you make it. If you think that paying for things in cash will be a burden, then it will be.
We chose to approach it as a tool and were open to seeing what happens. And what happened is that we were able to control our spending better. And as much of a douchebag as he is, Dave Ramsey really stumbled on something with the cash envelope system....thats why he's so popular. Because it works.
The reality of spending in cash really isn't that bad. The worst part was that, when we first started, we'd have a few times a month of going to the store and forgetting the grocery money. Now that we've been doing this a while, it's somewhat second nature to make sure we grab cash before going to the store.
I bought these plastic oversized envelopes at OfficeMax for about a buck each. Once we implemented the system, we realized we MAINLY only use two of them....one for gas and one for groceries. Those are the two ongoing expenses we have that aren't fixed.
We do pay most of our other bills online. We don't pay EVERYTHING in cash, just whats practical. But I think that the act of paying your gas and groceries with cash makes a pretty huge mental shift happen, because those are pretty big, consistent expenses for just about every family.
It's only as hard as you think it will be. And if you're sick of living paycheck-to-paycheck, it might be worth checking out a method that's different from yours....because clearly your way isn't working out very well for you or you wouldn't be looking for a budgeting method.