Reader Diane sent me a darn good question via a comment on my post about approaching the end of my credit card ban. “When the experiment is over, will you go back to spending as before or will you make some changes,” Diane asked. “Either way, why?” My month-long cash-only spending experiment definitely changed the way I will spend money. Going forward I’m going to make three changes.
- I’m no longer going to rely strictly on credit cards because I scrutinize purchases more with cash. My goal is to use cash for everything under $50, which are the purchases that have the most wiggle room. Think I’m giving up a ton of credit cards perks? During the past seven months I earned an average of $16 in cash-back rewards each month. With cash I spent $200 less. That’s a much bigger perk!
- I’m going to strictly use cash for groceries because I spend so much more carefully with greenbacks. My dollars are finite no matter how I pay, but using cash makes my limits feel more apparent.
- I’m going to leave my credit card at home unless I specifically plan to use it. The more I pre-think about purchases before I leave home, the more likely I am to spend less.
Before the experiment I used to use cash for about 10% of my purchases and credit for the other 90%. Now I think my ratio is going to be closer to 60/40. What’s your ratio?