In the month of March I was not as strict with my budget as I had been in February. I know it’s because we paid off all of our smaller debts so I didn’t feel the urge to be really strict with our spending. We paid of our truck loan so now we just have our travel trailer payment. It’s a big amount because we haven’t had it that long. In order for us to make progress on that $21k I will have to start being strict with our budgeting again. For me that means getting back on the cash system and stop using our debit cards.
Even if we make our monthly budget, if we don’t pull the cash out on payday we won’t follow the budget. I don’t know what it is about using a debit card compared to cash but we spend so much more when we use our debit cards.
When I use my debit card regularly instead of cash I get stressed out. I avoid looking at my checking account because I just don’t want to see the damage. I always spend more then I think I’m going to. Sometimes I will even spend into the money that is set aside for our mortgage or other bills. It makes me feel out of control.
When I use my cash envelope system I fell organized and responsible. I love updating my spread sheets because we always stay on track. I don’t get stressed out when we decide to take money from one envelope and use it on something else because I’m not spending money that was meant to pay a bill. For example I would be using money from our grocery fund to eat out with. I can see exactly where the money is going and I know exactly how much I have left.
I know it can totally be a head game that I am playing. But you know what it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I have found a way to feel good about my spending and have a balanced monthly budget. All while paying off debts, keeping a savings account and taking some family trips!
What habits or tricks do you have that help you stay on track financially?