One of my problems with the cash system is the cash. I was told that this system would give me a greater sense of loss and help me keep up with my money. But I have a fear and likelihood of actually losing it–as in, money falling out of my wallet, pocket, purse, or a variety of possible locations. We allotted $180 for last week and $200 for this week, so last night I was adding up receipts and trying to get a feel for where we stand for the rest of beach week. Of course, I keep a running mental tally, but I just wanted to make sure that all was well. (Actually, I had a feeling that I’d just had a particularly awesome CVS run and I wanted to brag to J by showing him how much money was left.) The problem was that all of a sudden, I couldn’t account for about $60. So my brag became instantly deflated and I was struck with a horrible fear that in all the couponing and multiple transactions at CVS, maybe three $20 dollar bills just fell out on the counter. ACCKK!
Well, don’t worry. I found it. At the bottom of my purse. But would just keeping it in the account and strictly adhering to the budget be just as good? Doesn’t the card provide some safetly? With the cash system is that I have a constant fear of losing money. I also don’t like carrying around a ton of cash. (Because $200 cash is a TON in my world.) Since I am a slight klutz and often discombobulated at checkout, wouldn’t debit be better?
And in point of fact, having a huge wad of cash makes me feel like I have a ton of money that I can just burn through. When J and I got married, we took all the cash out of our cards before the honeymoon and then we vowed to spend the whole cashbox without a care during the course of our honeymoon. It was AWESOME! And the only time we’ve ever had money to just SPEND like that. But maybe I mentally equate scads of cash with that same honeymoon abandon of concern.
Then of course, there’s the simple problem of not having the card. If I’m making a purchase and is a few dollars more than my cash, I’m screwed. Or the other day, I didn’t have the card and I had to deposit a check, but realized that I couldn’t use the ATM. Grrr. Shouldn’t my extremely stingy nature counteract any tendency to spend the money willy nilly. If you are a cash budget person, I need you to weigh in on this. Why cash?