It is the year 2010 and the month of July, most families are heading out on various vacations and lately the new thing to do is carry a debit or credit card that is attached to your bank account. It’s easy and less worrisome than carrying around a bunch of cash with you. The problem with using your debit or credit card strictly for most of your transactions means that you may be more apt to spend more money than if you had cash on hand.
My new practice is to give myself a weekly allowance, this means each week I have a specific amount of cash on hand in my wallet to use for any miscellaneous expenses beyond those of the normal household bills. I have found that making sure I do not use my debit card for all the various expenses that incur when you arrive at a store with three children has allowed me to save more money.
About a year ago I was using my debit card for everything from diapers to the bug juices my kids love getting at the store, but in the past six months I have started giving myself the allowance of cash and putting my debit card away for most transactions. Of course it’s more convenient with three kids to pay at the gas pump, than truck them all in the store, therefore the few times a month I actually have to get gas I use my debit card. Paying for gas outside will save you money too, because if you are like me then you’re kids may have a habit of wanting a drink and are all of a sudden dying of thirst when you get inside the store. I always purchase a bug juice for my kids, it’s sort of a habit we have grown into, therefore my new habit is paying for gas at the pump with my debit card no matter what!
Vacations are a different story, maybe if you have more than one bank account, try to place only what money you want and/or need for vacation into one account and take just that one card with you for main use of things. That way you may not overspend and you are still safer than carrying cash around. I know that when our family attempts a vacation before school starts we will more than likely take cash as J doesn’t have a bank account and he will more than likely be the one fronting the bill money for the trip!
So there you have it, give yourself a weekly “cash” allowance so that you can start saving money and watch as your income starts collecting for bill time rather than stressing out at end of month when you realize you overspent using that darn debit/credit card all month!
Questions for Thought: Do you agree or disagree with my theory of spending less by giving yourself a weekly cash allowance? What methods do you use to save money and stop from overspending?