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cash burns a hole in my pocket

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I think I’m doing pretty well on the frugality side. I’ve trained myself not to spend money using a card. For my general spending, I have a cash only budget - this is supposed to cover food, entertainment and everything that comes under miscellaneous. For actual purchases, clothes, household items, gadgets and gizmos I use a card. I should really say, I’m loathe to use the card. I hate spending money on it, it feels like I’m moving away from my real goals and so on.

Cash is different though. It burns a hole in my pocket. It calls out to me from the depths of my wallet and says “spend me, spend me”. I go through cash much like I go through water. I don’t know if its the way that I account for it - for tracking spending purposes, I consider it spent the moment it leaves the cashpoint. Maybe its that the categories for which I use cash are just my weak spots, and I would spend more on them regardless of mode. Or perhaps its that using cash for all my small purchases makes them feel trivial, and ignores the fact that a lot of little amounts tend to add up to a big amount.

Regardless of cause, I’m always running out of cash at the end of the month and I’d like your suggestions, ideas and examples on how I could improve things.

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9 comments for “cash burns a hole in my pocket”

  1. Maybe you could try the cash envelope method.

    Another technique I heard about is to only use a credit/debit card, but keep a sticky note on it and make a note every time you buy something.

    But I’m just a newbie… I’m still in the “track expenses and see where the heck the money goes” phase.

    Posted by Jon | October 16, 2007, 1:49 pm
  2. I can’t help. I have just as much trouble as you - only opposite: I hang on to cash like it’s my last meal, but my card seems to spend money on it’s own.

    Posted by rocketc | October 16, 2007, 2:05 pm
  3. I have similar issue, cash just flies out of my wallet. I just keep as little as I needed for 1 week in my wallet to keep me from overspending.

    Posted by Pinyo | October 16, 2007, 2:27 pm
  4. I have the same method as Pinyo I pull out an amount to last me a week, including lunches, coffees, any last minute groceries and treats. I find it’s way easier to skip a coffee, or make sure there will be enough milk for a week when there is only one $20 bill for 3 days!

    Posted by Looby | October 16, 2007, 2:58 pm
  5. I’m currently pulling out an amount that lasts me all week, but once its in my pocket, it spends itself on rubbish, and then at the end of the week I scrabble around trying to get together enough for the essentials.

    Posted by plonkee | October 16, 2007, 8:27 pm
  6. This may be a bit extreme, but if you have ready access to a fee-free ATM, you might try paying yourself a cash allowance every day instead of weekly. That would at least limit how much rubbish you can buy in a given day and ensure you’ll have some money left at the end of the week.

    Posted by E.C. | October 18, 2007, 1:42 am

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