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This weekend I visited my mom in Pennsylvania and went to my aunt and uncle's 50th wedding anniversary. (They were soooo cute!) As my mom and I were talking yesterday, I mentioned that my husband and I take out a set amount of cash at the bank every two weeks, and then try to spend only cash for our everyday expenses. I was pretty shocked when my mom said she had never even thought of using a cash budget. (WOW!)
Our cash budget includes groceries, eating out, and any other miscellaneous expenses that might pop up over the two week period. I'll be honest, we are far from perfect at keeping up with it, and if we do need more money than what's in our envelope we occasionally use our debit card in addition to that cash. (We have a little bit of extra money in our checking account allotted for extra expenses.) However, we have a plan in place that tells us what we should be spending, and aim to spend only that in the course of two weeks.
While we are big Dave Ramsey fans, and have all of our income budgeted into tons of different accounts (including clothing, gas, vacation, car repair, gifts, etc.), we really only take cash out for groceries, restaurants, and any other quick purchases that pop up (i.e., kids school expenses). I've tried to convince my husband several times to also take out cash at least for gifts and clothing, but for some reason we've just never gotten that far. (Although I think it is fantastic if you do budget those in cash as well!)
If you're not living on a basic cash budget now, I highly encourage you to take a few minutes this week to sit down and make a budget to plan where you're going financially. While saving money using coupons can completely change your family's budget, it's so important to have a plan in place to really determine how your money is going to be spent each month, no matter how small or big your family's income is.
Do you use a cash budget and have you found a difference in your spending because of it? Or, are you struggling with starting one and trying to determine where to begin! Today's a great day to start. . . and begin the month of June with a budget in place!
If you're looking for where to start, I highly recommend reading Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace, and you can also download free budget spreadsheets from Dave Ramsey.
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