Shoeaholic No More



August 2014



Why I Use Cash

Written by , Posted in Money & Finances

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3466349463_d9069874fe_zI try to use cash for most of my spending these days. Sure, I still carry my debit card and ONE single credit card in my wallet, but I don’t use them very often anymore. Today, I want to give you a quick highlight of how and why I use my cash system, and what pros and cons I’ve seen from using cash so far.

How and Why I Use a (Mostly) Cash Budget

When I set up my budget plans for each month, I allocate a certain number of dollars for everything I need for the month. I give myself a set amount of cash to spend on things like groceries, entertainment, and my pets.

At the bottom of my budget sheet, I make sure that the amount of cash is an amount that is a multiple of 20 so I can easily withdraw the money from an ATM. I take all my cash from the ATM at the beginning of the month. I try not to use ATMs that do not belong to my bank so I can avoid fees. Yes, my bank has an ATM fee reimbursement option, but it’s just easier to avoid the fees all together.

After I have the cash in hand for that month’s living expenses, I divide it up in a zip-around coupon organizer with labeled sections for each spending category. I keep this organizer in my purse at all times, that way I’m never out to make a purchase without my cash.

I decided to try a (mostly) cash budget so I can more easily track and be accountable for my spending.

Prior to January 2014, when I would shop for groceries or household goods at Walmart, I’d often find myself unfazed by $120 totals each week. Sometimes I was even unaware of what the total was because I wasn’t really listening or registering how much I was spending when I’d swipe my debit or credit cards.

Spending cash makes me more aware. I have to count out the cash to hand to the cashier and I feel my organizer getting lighter and slimmer as the month goes on. I also have to prioritize what I spend and when I buy things. Yes, I do occasionally deviate from my cash budget, but for the most part I plan my purchases solely around how much cash I have left in my different categories for the month.

Pros of a Cash Budget

  • Spending in cash holds me accountable for my purchases.
  • I spend less and I prioritize my spending more.
  • I am more aware of my money situation and what I can actually afford that if I swipe plastic to buy something.

Cons of a Cash Budget

  • While I’ve never had trouble with this, some people report being scared of carrying around too much cash. They don’t want to lose it or be robbed.
  • The cash envelopes can be quite bulky, but luckily, I carry a pretty big purse.
  • You have to plan ahead to get your cash before making any purchases, but this isn’t really a problem for me.

If you are having trouble with accountability or tracking when it comes to spending, maybe you should try doing a cash budget. But, don’t give up on it too quickly if you decide to try it, make sure you give it a month or two before you decide if it’s for you.

Do you do most of your spending in cash?

Photo courtesy of: Jeffrey Smith

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Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.


  1. Amy
    • Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore
    • Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore
    • Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore
    • Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore

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