Home > Finances > Straight Cash – Part 1

Straight Cash – Part 1

The cash challenge has been interesting thus far. And despite only being a week into it, we already “cheated.”

  • Having coins rattling around in my pockets isn’t fun – especially when the relaxed fit jeans I bought some time ago are no longer relaxed. Every time I’ve had to get my keys/cell phone out of my pocket, I’m dropping coins.
  • Someone asked me if I had change for a $5 bill last week. Out of habit, I gestured to my pockets as if I’m feeling to see if I have my wallet and said no…oh, wait…I do. That was the first time I’ve had change since forever.
  • As I suspected, seeing my cash on hand dwindle from $20 to $15 to $8 to $1 had much more impact on my psyche than swiping my credit card for a $5, $7, $7, and $1 purchases.
  • I haven’t had this scenario play out in a LONG time: I go to a fast food restaurant and the total is $2.12. Seeing as how I didn’t want to put another $0.88 of change in my “relaxed” fit jeans–where are my JNCOs when a fat boy needs ’em?–I found I had a quarter and several pennies in my pocket.  So I gave the cashier $2 and started searching for my change. He opened the register, put in the $2 and awaited my $0.12. I gave him $0.27 and he had a really puzzled look. He said he didn’t need the 2 pennies since it was $0.12. I had to explain to him that I’d rather not carry around pennies, and by giving him $0.27, I would get back a nickel and a dime. He continued to look puzzled. This stare down could’ve continued indefinitely, so I took back the 2 pennies and he gave me 2 nickels and 3 pennies. Great…
  • Not having a credit card for online shopping is like going to a food place only to find a sign w/ the words, “Cash Only.”
  • The “cheating” occurred at Sam’s Club. I had to drop off prescriptions for my mom and while there, realized we needed milk. If I were to stick to my guns, I’d have driven home, gotten some cash and come back. That would’ve wasted gas so I gave in and used my debit card. Debit cards are technically akin to using cash so I didn’t feel too bad.
  • I’m going to have to cheat for real this week. I need to order parts for my grill and smoker from Weber and they only accept credit cards over the phone. I searched around for a cash gift card but most of them have activation fees of $2.50.
  • This sounds stupid when I type it out: it’s hard to spend money when you don’t have any. But it’s true. Having a credit card gives me the notion that I have money at all times. And since I don’t see the consequences of my actions until the end of the month, it’s easier to spend more than I intended to.

All in all, it’s not terribly difficult living without credit cards; you just need to plan out your spending a lot more. The first two months of 2010, we’ve gone over-budget in most categories; last week, we were under-budget by quite a bit.

  1. March 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    You should have demanded for the dime and nickel.

    • southamerica
      March 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm

      Is that supposed to be a bacterium?

      • Pop
        March 8, 2010 at 1:09 pm

        It automatically generates. I set the icon to Monsters or whatever it’s called.

  2. southamerica
    March 8, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Maybe you can penalize credit card use as follows. Multiply the amount charged to credit card by 110% and deduct it from your cash for the week. It’s like charging yourself a convenience fee.

    • Pop
      March 8, 2010 at 1:09 pm

      That’s a good idea. We deducted it from our weekly amount, but charging a convenience “fee” will make me more prepared for next time.

  1. March 18, 2010 at 10:03 am
  2. April 7, 2010 at 9:48 am

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