Using a Debit Card vs. Cash

Debit-Card vs. Cash

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?

❤ Sarah

DDebit-Card vs. Cash 1



10 thoughts on “Using a Debit Card vs. Cash

  1. I love this. For me it’s because I can SEE the cash. It’s harder to let go of. Easier to see what’s left.

  2. Cash envelopes for groceries and auto gas. When we get back to a date night fund, that will also have an envelope. I also need to set up envelopes for “projects” and “clothing” because I NEVER budget for them and we do really need something set up.

    The envelope system has been awesome for me. I love being able to shop and buy gas and know what’s in my pocket. It’s also nice knowing I can get the checking account down low without having to worry about not having enough money.

    • I still get nervous when the checking account gets low even when I have hundreds of dollars in my wallet. There are just so many bills that auto deduct out of my account so I am always afraid I have messed up and I’m going to go negative. lol

      I have never budgeted for clothing expenses until February and it was so great! I didn’t feel guilty spending the money because that’s what it was there for. In the past I have just bought clothes not caring where that money was suppose to go. You should set it up for sure when you can!

  3. Making a thermometer can be useful whether you’re saving up for something or paying down a debt. The visual is a great motivator because you want to fill in the thermometer until you reach your goal. “Cash is king and debt is dumb!” Gotta love Dave Ramsey! It’s true we all spend less when using cash. Plastic is far less real. Sounds like you’re making headway!

  4. I try to avoid the debit card, only because of overdrafts. Since my husband and I share an account and I am the forgetful sort, it’s best if we just use cash.

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