One way that Caleb and I keep our spending down (like crazy) is by carrying cash. When I tell people this, they usually think we're crazy. Now there is no right or wrong way to pay for things! We'd just rather save up and pay for something we really want in cash, than be in more debt to someone. I have a tall, red wallet from Dave Ramsey just like the one below...and its incredibly organized. Everyone is different, but we keep our envelopes in four sections; Groceries, Fun, Tithe, and Gas. I'll keep my debit card sometimes for gas, but I notice when there is cash in my checking account, I'll try to spend it.
So why do we believe in using cash only?
It's emotional. Spending $4 at Starbucks doesn't hurt near as bad when I use my debt card, because I don't see the money physically coming out of my bank. When I use my $20 bill that I give myself once, maybe twice a month...I don't want to break that bill. I think twice about what I spend because once its gone, its GONE.
It speaks louder than a credit card. When Caleb and I made our first big finally-married purchase together (our couches), we were paying with cold, hard, CASH. We weren't financing, we weren't talking about interest rates, and we definitely weren't going in debt over it...having cash in hand helped get us about $300 off the total, and guess what? It was actually OURS when we took them home, not "until we paid it off".
It's convenient. Sometimes I'll run into a gas station just for a $2 pop, and they won't accept a debit card on purchases under $5, etc...so every now and again, those situations pay off to have cash.
It makes you feel awesome. When you can decide that you're going to SAVE for something, and not just charge it to a card because you think you deserve it...it gives you a different outlook. You have a sense of accomplishment when you can EARN something and say you paid for that in full. No strings attached, no interest rates, no worrying about minimum payments, etc.
Some people will never agree with this method of thinking...and you know what? That's alright. Just because it works for us, doesn't mean its the ONLY way to live. Now, don't get me wrong...we still use our debit card, but keep in mind, that's coming straight out of our BANK account. Obviously, we plan to have a mortgage someday, but we'd like to save a huge down payment first - so we aren't stuck in an apartment for life! ;)
I do have to say, stalking Etsy for cuter "cash envelopes" gets me pretty darn excited. #nerdalert Like this one;
Or to go the cheaper route (which I recommend) you can order directly off Dave's website and get paper envelopes that fit inside a long wallet, like me!
Or buy these cute little printable dividers!
Whatever you decide to do...or are already doing, just be sure it works for you! :) do any of you use cash only for certain purchases?