We live in a world where very few people actually carry cash into stores. I only have to go into my small town grocery store and I will see most of the people using debit, credit cards, or even their store account to pay for their groceries. They rarely pay with cash. I know that all those options are very convenient and that we live in a world of convenience.
So why do we choose to be different? (Let me assure you it’s not just to be different than everyone else.) *Side note: We don’t use cash for absolutely everything. For example, we do use our debit cards to buy fuel for our vehicles. We also pay all our bills online.
- When I am at the grocery store, using cash helps me not to overspend.
When you have cash and only so and so much, you have to stick to your grocery list and your budget. (Budgeting, Why, How, and When Series) My personal strategy is to keep track of how much I am spending so I never have to put something back once I get to the checkout counter. I hate the thought of embarrassing myself. Because I use a paper shopping list, I chose to keep a running tally along the side of it. I always round to the next dollar, not the nearest and that way I always have enough money to pay for the groceries at the end.
- Cash helps keep us on budget
We have used the envelope system as part of our budget for quite a few years now. If we want to go clothes shopping, for example, I would take my “Clothes” Envelope with me to the stores and only spend what was in it. If we wanted to go out to eat, we would take the “Entertainment” envelope with us to the restaurant. If there was no money in those envelopes we just wouldn’t do either of those things.
- It helps us avoid debt
Taking the time to save up money to buy that needed or wanted item was something our Grandparents and Great-Grandparents just did without thinking. It was a normal part of life. There was no option to just “put it on the credit card.” Our Grandparents knew that if you really wanted or needed something you needed to be disciplined and save for it. Because we don’t consider credit cards an option, using cash helps us to meet that end goal. We know that we are still going to need to buy groceries next week, therefore, we cannot dip into our Grocery Envelope to go buy a new leather jacket.
There you have it, the three reasons we use cash for many of our purchases. I know we don’t live in a one-size-fits-all world, but I truly do believe that switching to cash has helped us to begin to reach many of our goals and that it can help you too.