By Bobbi Burger Brunoehler of Bobbisbargains.
Last year, Bargain Babe challenged herself to not use credit cards for a month. At the time, I was feeling all kinds of awesome because I didn’t have any credit card debt and always pay off my cards each month. However, when I organized my financial New Year’s resolutions, I realized I was using my ATM card WAY too much and irresponsibly buying items that I didn’t really need. I resolved to go back to my previously successful budget strategy of using cash only for my weekly purchases. I wanted to share with you my insights from my first week after I banned my ATM card.
Here is how I started:
- I designated a day of the week that was the “start” day. I choose Saturday.
- I took out a set amount of money from the ATM machine that I am allowed to use for groceries and sundries for the family. This does not include major items like new skate shoes, class fees, or oil changes. It does include food, tissues, and light bulbs.
- I paper clipped the money together so that I would easily be able to see how much was left. I attached a piece of paper to the paper clip to track what I spend. However, to be honest, I haven’t kept track.
Here is what happened:
- Immediately I became aware of how much I had to spend and I didn’t want to waste it.
- On my way home, I was going to stop for a Starbucks Latte and then I decided that I didn’t want to spend any of my cash.
- When I went to the grocery store, I started to load up on some things that I “wanted.” Then I remembered that I was only going to be using cash. Immediately I put several items back.
- When I got to the checkout counter I got rid of two more items. Interestingly, I had to choose between packets of flower seeds and packets of lettuce seeds. I chose the flower seeds. Hmm.
So far, I have saved easily over $100 and I have only been back on my cash system for 2 days! Wow. I didn’t realize how much using my ATM card was throwing off my budget. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. I still haven’t started to implement the rest of my resolutions, but I plan on doing so.
How are you doing on your resolutions?