Use Cash & The Rest is History
Now, let’s really dive into what’s going on…
This post will introduce you to a simplified budget that consists of using only cash instead of categorizing your expenses. It will provide you with tools to create your own super-simple budget!
Have you ever tried a budget where you categorize all of your expenses?
It may have looked something like this:
$150 for groceries, $50 for gas, $20 for fun, $45 for eating out, $20 to feed your animals, $100 into savings, $400 for car payment, $1,120 for rent, etc etc….
If you find this way of budgeting EXTREMELY difficult to keep up with, or just plain awful – this post is for you.
Why We Failed Categorizing
My husband and I tried the categorizing way of budgeting. When we tried it, it worked for about two weeks and then we failed miserably. It was extremely time consuming to categorize every single expense after we paid for anything.
It usually went like this:
“We need more food for zeb!”
“Oh…. we forgot that category so I guess we’ll have to take $10 out of the grocery money for our bearded dragon’s food costs….”
We just couldn’t get our numbers right, and our grocery bill varies so much because we tend to buy in bulk that it was not working to well for us at all.
Fast forward 1.5 years later…. We have finally found our type of budget!
The budget that works for people who suck at budgeting!
CASH WORKS… Why?
Because it’s painful to see your money physically leaving your wallet, slipping out from your hands. You can see it, feel it, smell it – therefore it is real to you. It helps to visualize how much money you have left until your next pay out so you are able to plan accordingly.
Using a set amount of cash makes it easy to make adjustments in daily spending habits. Want to buy that super cute hat? Nah, I only have $25 left for the next 3 days, plus I told my friends I’d go out to dinner with them tomorrow.
It really makes you see how fast your money can get sucked away buying $6 coffee’s 5 days a week.
This can work for everyone, you just have to make your adjustments based on this formula:
How much you make every month = X
Total sum of the bills you need to pay for the month = Y
Now take X – Y = amount of money after bills paid (Z)
How much you spend on gas & groceries for the month = A
Personal items, eating out, hobbies, etc = B (try to minimize this as much as possible, to save the most moo-lah)
Here’s your personal budget:
A + B = amount of cash to take out (C) for the month
Z – C = amount of money to put into SAVINGS $ (or toward paying off debt!)
If you prefer, cut the cash amount in half and pay yourself every two weeks. That’s what works for us. 🙂
One important side note: If you must use your debit card, such as for an online purchase, you must take that cash out of your wallet while you’re paying for it and put it away in a specified drawer or safe. Take this money and pay yourself with it before taking money out of your bank account the next time you get cash.
June makes a 800$ paycheck every two weeks. That gives her $1,600 to work with for the month. She pays $600 for rent & utilities, and $200 for student loans.
$1,600 = X
$800 = Y
X-Y = $800 (Z)
She pays about $70 for groceries per month and $50 for gas every month.
$70 + $50 = A
She figures she can get away with having $100 cash to spend on her hobbies and personal items
$100 = B
A + B = $220 per month cash to spend
Z – C = $800 – $220 = $580 to put into SAVINGS
With this much cash taken out, she can save $580 every month. That’s great!
In one year if she keeps this up, she would have saved up $6,960!!
How to decide how much cash to take out:
- Is this for just you or your family too?
- How much generally are groceries for two weeks? Can you cut down on your expenses? Could you buy in bulk or cut out shopping at expensive stores?
- What are some things you can cut out/save up for with your cash – salon haircut, target runs because you’re bored , clothes you don’t need
- How much is gas generally for two weeks? Can you cut down on your driving? Maybe quit driving to the store so often, you’ll cut down on gas AND spending
- Remember, the goal is to save 25% – 50% of your earnings, what amount will help you reach that goal
Using Cash For Budgeting Is So Important
It’s really simple and you can save a TON of money this way. You’ll never be guessing where your money has gone because each payment will be one that you really think about because you’ll see that you have limited cash. It will make you think twice about every purchase you make. Using cash limits your spending, and encourages you to buy only what you really need. Cash will give you the power to SAVE and as a result, live your dreams!
How do you simplify your budget? Let us know in the comments below!