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- Frugal Living
Shop With Cash and Save Money
save money by using cash
I rarely carried cash in the past, but lately I find I use it more and more. For instance, yesterday I saved two dollars by paying cash when I filled my gas tank. This may not seem like much, but two dollars a week for a year is a hundred and four dollars in my account instead of the petroleum companies‘.
Over spending is so easy with credit cards. Even fast-food restaurants take credit cards these days. But with the high cost of just about everything lately, I've had to clamp down on my spending so have gone back to the cash.
Until I cut the credit-card cord I tried to stick to a budget, but it was becoming harder and hard. Now I take a set amount of cash when I go shopping and keep a mental note of what I'm spending as I add it to the cart. Sometimes I even use a calculator. It takes a bit of getting used to, but the more I do it, the easier it is and it‘s amazing how much stuff that I don‘t need that I put back or don‘t even put in my cart in the first place. I make a detailed list to insure I get all the things I really need, and then add the things I ‘want' if there is money left over. This method also cuts way back on impulse buys. Those BOGO sales (Buy One Get One Free) aren't much of a bargain when the ‘free' cucumber turns into a UFO or the cottage cheese spoils before I eat it.
Paying cash for restaurant meals, clothes and gifts will keep your spending in line too. If you only have a twenty-dollar bill when you go into a restaurant, you will make darned sure you stay within that price range (and please don't forget to include the tip).
Credit cards are an extremely expensive way to shop of you can't pay them off each month. It will be difficult, but take them out of your wallet, lock them up and keep them for emergency expenses. This way you'll be able to pay them off eventually if you carry a balance now, and end up with a lot less ‘stuff' that you don't really need.
If carrying cash worries you, use a debit card. This is the same as writing checks and you can only spend what's in your account. Be careful, however, as some of the debit cards have begun masquerading as credit cards. At one time a debit card would be declined if you didn't have the money in your account, but now they just go on through and you'll find yourself paying overdraft charges as well as returned check fees to the store.
Take it slowly at first and maybe only start paying for a few things with cash until you get used to it. I had to make three trips back into the gas station with more cash before I got it right! Silly me, I thought two twenties would be plenty! I know you'll save money using this method and even if you save only two dollars a week, you'll be ahead of the game!