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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Spare change?

After ten years of marriage, Bill and I have finally gone on a budget.  An honest to God, real budget.  We have a spreadsheet.  We have envelopes with cash.  We don't use our atm cards.  We've cut up our credit cards.  It's hardcore, people.  If I go to the grocery store with a $100 and it rings up to $105, I will put back $5 worth of stuff.  That hasn't happened yet, but I imagine that's what I would do.

Bill and I each get an "allowance", if you will.  A certain amount of money (me for books, him for golf) that covers our weekly expenses.  Over the course of the last four weeks, I have found that I do not like spending my money.  I wouldn't even call myself frugal.  I am effing cheap!  When my mom asks me out to lunch, I hesitate now.  I mentally add how much money I have in my wallet and how much I would have left if I spent $X amount.  It's kind of a joke now.  I raid the change jar for soda money.  Bill generously offers to use $5 of his money to send Kelsey on a field trip.  I say take it out of the grocery money. 

This really is something that I didn't know about myself.  What's interesting to me is what a difference it makes when you have cash instead of an atm or credit card. I really never thought twice about swiping my atm card.  Now, breaking a $20 is something that I need days to consider.

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Shannon said...

Yep, you are definitely going hard core! Any chance you are doing the Dave Ramsey program? I did his class - Financial Peace University - through my church, but it never 'took' like it should. My own fault really though I know. I have managed to start buying groceries with cash and I did pay off one debt I had and rolled that money over into the cash I use for groceries, but I haven't managed to line up a workable budget as yet. Some of us have to do baby steps I guess.

Good luck with it all. And you are right - it's a very different feeling when you are spending the actual cash.

Casee said...

I'm doing the Do What My Mom Says program. LOL. My mom has a gift with financial planning and has really set us on the right path. I am so indecisive right now about anything financial and she's able to look from the outside and tell me "I would do this because [insert reasonable answer here]".

I'm hopeful. I'm also hopeful that this cheap thing is a phase. I'm not holding my breath though b/c my dad is the same way.

Shannon said...

Just consider it a "lifestyle makeover" like taking on a healthier diet or something. I, of course, have not quite reached this point, but I have hope. Dave Ramsey's tag line is "Live like no one else so one day you can live like no one else." He is ALL about paying for things in cash and cutting up your cards, etc. If I can get out of debt then I could do that, but it's a vicious circle. I am hoping that if my house ever freakin' sells then I will have some money from that to put towards paying my credit card off and then I could start over again. Guess we'll see!

I will look forward to reading more blog posts about this though and maybe getting some tips from you!