Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Update on My Cash-Only Life (so far)

I've written before how one of my goals for this year is to live cash-only. So far, it's going fairly well. I'm much more aware of when I use my debit card, and I'm generally staying within my pocket money allotment, too. There have also been weeks where I've had cash leftover from my pocket money -- and I should mention this has happened more often than it used to. I'm not an obsessive tracker of how I spend my money, so I can't say exactly how much extra money I've had.

It's interesting, because I definitely think more about certain purchases than I did when I just used my debit card. I've also been trying to funnel more of my cash savings money to my Ing account, and leave my bank savings account at about the minimum balance -- so I don't have that savings account as my "Oops! I spent too much money this week and I need a cash infusion" backup account.

I know I should be snowflaking these leftover bits of my weekly pocket money, but I'm not quite able to. Yet. My emergency fund took big hits in November, and partially in December, and I'm still working on bringing it back to 3+ months expenses. Also, I grew up without a lot of money, and I'm actually pretty obsessive about having a certain amount of "emergency/mad" money immediately on hand (aka the closet stash).

I've been playing the trick on myself of only taking about 70% of my weekly pocket money allotment from the ATM each week. I usually do end up using my debit card somewhere or getting more cash...but not always.

So in all, I'm pleased with how the (mostly) cash-only goal has been going. I'm a little more present when I'm spending money (e.g. "Wow, I only have $27 in my wallet") and that's helping keep my spending in check.

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