"Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of
drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory."
"I never want to use a credit card again."
I said this to Mike about 4 months ago and for the first time I meant it. As I paid one of our bills and glanced at the finance charge it occurred to me that we were just paying money to borrow our debt. Let me say that again. Paying money to BORROW our DEBT. The insanity of that situation just bored into me. I like a challenge and Mike is eager for any way to manage the finances better so it took very little persuasion to convince the both of us to take drastic measures to pay off our debt and never spend what we don't have.
So we started our first month of the 'cash only' system. It's so easy even with a debit card to become negligent in keeping track-at least for me. Before long I'd check my bank online and wonder where all the money was. I started using the envelope system which I never thought I would like. It turns out that I love it! I love the freedom of cash.
* I always know exactly how much I have left to spend on food for the month, recreations, personal things. It's all right there.
* I find that I spend way less on food when I am handing over cash. Handing over a hundred dollar bill is hard! I am so less inclined to buy things not on sale or things I do not have a coupon for when I am paying cash.
* I never used to have cash on me. EVER. IF I owed someone some money or I wanted to buy something from a child's fundraiser, I never had the cash on me. I do now and I like that.
*Even though I am spending less, I feel like I have more money. This is because I tend to be a lot more conscious of my purchases. I buy something because I really want it, not because I threw it in the cart on a whim.
There is one interesting downside that I had occurred to me before.
No one wants to take a hundred dollar bill! I assumed places (other than fast food chains) just used one of those pens to check for counterfeit bills but they don't. I was turned down at many stores and now I have to get 50's as the highest increment.
Of course that's just a minor adjustment.
Trying something new is hard and I am generally not a goal setter. But this has been a challenge that has inspired me to prove to myself I can change things in our household. I can't wait until I can post that we are debt free. I know it will happen and even though getting there is drudgery, I know in the end I will feel triumph.