Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Save Money by Living on Cash

We’ve all done it – gone out for the day and stopped in for a coffee, a sandwich, maybe a few things at the drugstore and used our credit cards for each purchase. Small charges add up and suddenly you’re drowning in debt.

A great solution is to step away from your reliance on credit cards by using cash for all your purchases. 

Credit equals irresponsibility


Of course, we all love using credit cards; they seem more convenient than cash and they offer enticing points and bonuses. But the reality of credit cards is that they’re too easy to use. This makes consumers feel as though they have unlimited amounts of money, but we don’t.

Some people become so in love with shopping that their families are forced to send them to addiction rehab centers. Thus, we need a worthwhile system to track our spending while sticking to a budget. The answer? Cash.

Choose where the money goes


Each week or month, create a budget that works for your needs. Take into account what you’ll need to spend on transportation, food, home or medical needs, childcare, entertainment and any other requirements. Then decide what portion of your weekly income should be assigned to each category.

Generally, you should put away 10% of your net income for savings and an emergency fund. Once the money for each expense has been allocated, simply hide the credit cards!

Keep yourself on track


You can’t spend what you don’t have, so try not to cheat. Some over-50 consumers rely on their friends or partner to ensure they don’t take from one category to fill another. Maintain a notebook or spreadsheet to write down all purchases made. This allows you to keep track, in real time, of where your money goes. 

Money-saving apps


These days, almost everyone has a smartphone or tablet computer. And while buying the latest technology can be a huge drain on your finances, there's a number of apps out there that actually help you save money by promoting day-to-day budgeting and make it easy to keep track of your spending.

Here are two of our favorites:

· Expenditure (iPhone): Expenditure gives you everything you need to budget effectively, and then some. Set a budget, log your daily expenses and track your progress over the month. The app also includes a number of handy features such as a built-in currency converter for international travelers.
· Moneywise (Android): Moneywise gives you a powerful suite of reporting and tracking features to manage your budget on an Android-powered smartphone or tablet. Create and adjust custom budgets on the fly and export graphs and tables for review on your home computer. 

Some final thoughts on cash budgeting


The great thing about the cash system is that it forces you to be aware of every penny. This consequently leads to great savings as you’re counting out those dimes and quarters at the cash register. Once you’ve implemented the cash system, you’ll immediately see the savings!

No more mindless shopping – now go out and save those dollar bills!


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