It is a quite humbling lesson in living cheaply, but also I’m finding I have more cash on hand than I would if I were in debit card/NSF fee hell.
A big test was Sunday night, when I did my weekly post-work trip to the grocery store. After divvying a set amount of cash into my hand from the famous Cookie Jar, I went in and realized I – gasp – could not buy the products I wanted to buy!!!
I’d find myself calculating the prices in my head to make sure I didn’t go over my self-distributed allowance. I found myself buying generic products and putting quite a few items back on the shelf.
As far as bills are concerned, I haven’t had to make any more money-order payments. I’m still making arrangements so the important bills – rent, phone, utilities and food – are paid in a timely manner. Right now I am still trying to get my pay schedule in sync with my bill schedule.
I am also taking any change I accumulate and am keeping it in a jar. When it fills up, I’m either rolling it and cashing it, or taking a trip to the Coinstar (which does charge a minimal fee, BTW) to get it turned into cash money.
You know, there was a time – not too long ago – when I was scared I wouldn’t have the cash to go and visit my family for a special weekend. Or to go and have coffee with a friend. So far, things seem to be working out. But I am keeping my fingers crossed and keeping all of you aware.
So far, cash-only seems to be a very wise way for me to manage my money. But I am certain more problems will pose themselves as I continue on this journey.