Last month’s Money Challenge was all about the online spending…I actually did better than I thought I would. Out of thirty days, I made only seven online purchases. This is amazing to me! Progress people, progress.
Ok, so now I am going to turn it up a notch and for May…it’s all about the cash! Oy! With the exception, of course, for all the automatic payments for set bills – it’s all going to be about the cash. I need to reload my Starbucks card – you better have a ten dollar bill handy girl. You want to go to craft store, you better bring your cash envelope.
I am sure you have totally noticed by now that I am not just going cold turkey and being all cash all the time. It’s because I have to re-wire my brain and learn to do things differently. You know the story, do the same thing over & over again and get the same results. Also, I want to break my dependency on using my debit card for everything. My current mindset is – “oh, I has money in the bank, I can buy this”. Umm, that would be a negative Lissy. I did pre-plan my May Cash Flow to have cash available for items I have noticed are reoccurring each month. That would be for things like take out and crafty supplies.
I am very nervous about this challenge…I’ll update you in June
We have been tracking the Suspects spending habits for the month of March. the criteria for this surveillance was as follows; what days were no spend days, what days did the suspect purchase food outside the grocery budget, what days did the suspect purchase items while tired and hurting; what days were items purchased strictly in impulse and what days were spent on Retail Therapy (suspect was in an angry mood).
Over the course of a thirty-one day period, we established that 12 days were spent on a “No Spend”, 9 days on food, 7 on tired/hurting, 4 days on impulse and 1 on an all out shoppalooza.
We will continue this type of surveillance for an additional sixty days to establish if the suspect has a pattern of spending during chronic illness flares, full moon madness or such. Also, we have heard from the C.I. on this case that the suspect will be challenged with a “No Spend Online” in April.
*this type of post is a direct result of me watching too much NCIS on Netflix*
Mission Status: Observation of Suspects Behavioral Attitudes in Spending
The gathered intelligence was that the Suspect would be participating in a No Spend Month in March. The suspect abruptly changed positions and that status abruptly changed. Through information from a Confidential Informant, we have ascertained that the Suspect is laying low. From what we obtained, is watching her money rather closely. In the photographic evidence below we know for certain there has been a lull in our Suspects spending habits.
The evidence suggests that the Suspect is connecting her emotional status to how she spends. We witnessed the Suspect at two major big-box stores but arrived to home base with no new purchases.
We will continue surveillance at this time.
Light Green = No Money Spent; Pink = $ spent of food not made at home; Orange = $ spent while tired/in pain; Red = Impulse Purchase not on the 30 day wait list; Purple = all out shopapolooza
Image by Roundicons, text by picmonkey
I wanted to share a few sources for cash envelopes with you all. The most super easy way is to go to the local dollar store, buy a box of small envelopes, grab a pen, purchase, go home, write on envelopes and stuff with the cash. Done.
Buh….I’m a paperaddict…some of us might want to use stickers, washi and different colored pens…oh my. Truth is, as with most things in life. you can make this system as simple or as complicated as you want. Below are some of my favorite sources for setting up a cash envelope system. From basic blank envelopes to an app created by Dave Ramsey’s group. Click those links people!
For those who like to make your own, I used this tutorial to make tabs for my wallet – I laminated mine and used basic craft paper.
Or if you are very crafty & own a sticker maker, this is an awesome tutorial (and when you make your set, I’d like one to please!)
Lastly, for those who just don’t do paper and need an app for that, there is EveryDollar from the Dave Ramsey peeps!
For me, I’m sticking with the tabs and savings account. It’s how I roll.
The first month of being cash only has come to an end and all I have to say is…can I get a do-over?
There is still a lot of growing pains with this new habit. What I did observe was my impulse purchasing went down. I tended to stay away from my usual websites by keeping a list of “wants” and talking myself out of items. I was very vigilant in writing down every penny in and every penny out.
The hurdle I still face is with the Sink Funds & Cash envelopes. I did have the cash I needed, when I needed it, for the windshield wipers. However, some of that leftovers in that category went towards a trip to Hobby Lobby as well. Meh.
So what to do!? Frist, I am going to factor in an envelope category for “Mad Money”. This is the funds left over each pay period that will go towards this and when that is gone, it’s gone. So if the left overs are $10 or $50, that is what I get to spend. It may not be the best idea I have ever come up with but it will a good place to start.
I’m a spender, which is fine. Having a mad money category fulfills my need to spend and still feel good because all my bills are paid, I emergency money and 3% of my paycheck is being saved. So it’s not all a loss!
Also, I wanted to share with you Rachel Cruze – the daughter of Dave Ramsey. She has her own book out and a great YouTube channel as well. These little segments have been a great help for me – check her out here.
Any suggestions dear readers?
Talk about a Mission Impossible!
Yours truly is going cash only in 2017. There are myriad of reasons why but mostly I want to have a better understanding of managing my money, create a safety net for myself and learn to have an understanding of my wants and needs.
I spent some quality time over the last few months reviewing my spending, writing down every penny in and every penny out. This month I will be tackling the review of the last two months spending. This will allow me to know how much is spent on impulse purchases, how much is needed for gas and setting up electronic payments so I can back off from debit card spending.
This years monthly finance posts will be all about my journey to financial freedom. Mission Plans are not top secret here. Those will be revealed next month…so stay tuned!
Now some of you will immediately have Patsy Cline enter your brain waves crooning ever so beautifully “I’m Crazy”. If you don’t who Patsy Cline is…then shame on you, shame on your family, shame on your cow.
Really what I’m trying to reference is the Albert Einstein quote for Insanity “doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” I totally could be the poster child for this campaign. As I delve into setting goals, I am searching and reviewing patterns that I have created for myself. A couple of really BIG issues have come out of my in-depth review that I’m having a hard time admitting to myself. You may have already known these about me but until I admit to myself – speaking to me about these issues would’ve been pointless.
Ok, here we go…Truth No 1 about me and money. I never fully commit! There I said it. (and yes, I know, it goes into every area of my life!). I can speak all day about Dave Ramsey, cash flows and cash envelopes…but none of it will work for me if I’m not admitting that I’m fully committed to it. Why do I still over spend…DEBIT CARD. My very own kryptonite.
Truth No 2 – I rob Peter to pay Paul. Every chance I get. This is the practice of let’s say, taking money from Emergency savings to purchase a luxury items or to have fun money. Money specifically set to aside for one purpose but used for other “non-essential” items. It is a bad habit.
With that being said, my goals for 2017 will be “How do I effectively change these habits” and “how will I track it?”
Hold on dear friend, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
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Each quarter of the year I take my little gold piggy to the market, where I deposit his insides into a coin machine. I generally request a gift certificate for Amazon since it allows me to have the whole proceeds (if you choose cash, it take almost 10%). The most I have received is about $30 but lately it’s around $20.
It’s the first quarter review here at the Keep. I have lots of things to work on and my accountability is lacking substantial evidence of being responsible and trust-worthy. More coming on that in an upcoming post.
So for this quarter, I will be re-working my budget based on Dave Ramsey’s worksheets, with a review of my cash envelopes, sink funds and improving my emergency savings strategy.
Ugh, Financial maintenance is a drag man.
2015 seems to be my year to get my ass stuff in order and that includes working in my finances. Along with the release of my crap, er hoard. I am also releasing my spending habits as well. This is not news and certainly not a new topic. Just a new strategy.
I did some pre-work in the fall of 2014, setting up a new budget, emergency savings and annual expenses savings. For this, I used the templates from A Bowl Full of Lemons (2015 Budget Printable). Her kit can be downloadable and is geared to making goals and covers income, debts and expenses. I didn’t use all the sheets she provided, I had already set up my own income sheet but I updated my accounts, debts and goals.
To achieve my 2015 savings goal, I will be using the 52 week savings plan. Pinterest is full of printables for this!! Since I am paid bi-weekly, I added the amount needed per pay period in my budget. I also set a monitor for the goal directly linked to my savings account. Once that is fully funded, I will work on the next step. My “steps” are loosely based on the Dave Ramsey and Mary Hunts Debt Proof Living.
So what, Lissy…what’s so new about this strategy? Well, life is a constant change and as with everything in life, if you don’t learn to bend, you’ll end up broken. As I have said before, I am a drunken sailor on his first shore leave when it comes to spending money. With Dave’s budgeting philosophy, every dollar as a purpose and is accounted for. That gives me a set budget for car expenses, thrift shopping, savings, and annual expenses…what a wonderful feeling that is.
I am looking forward to sharing what I am changing, keeping, and developing of the course of the year…hope you join in on the fun.
So my little Piggy (bank) and I went to the market the other day to add up the contents of its fat little belly.
Sadly, I think Piggy went on coin diet because it only yielded $7.06!! For a three-month period!!
Which means, I am not spending cash as I should be from my cash envelope system. I’ve been using my Debit card instead. Naughty!
Back to the envelopes, AMRITE?