Frugal Tuesdays ~ Paying Cash

by Merissa on June 28, 2011

in Frugal Questions Tuesdays

Welcome back to the Frugal Tuesday series! I started this last year as a way for me and the other readers to answer any questions that you might have that are frugal or at least semi- frugal-related. If you have a question to ask, just go HERE and fill out the form!

Has your family tried the all-cash approach to purchasing, esp for everyday things like gas, groceries, eating out? ~Ckay


I'll be quite honest, I didn't like this question at first. It was convicting to me. Sometimes as much as I want to follow as the saving money "rules" I get side tracked myself. But it's all a learning experience right? I've tried to set up a using cash approach in the past and for some reason it's always failed us. I think it's mainly because we don't usually have alot of extra cash after the bills to use for those other things. And as far as food goes, we buy most of it over the internet through our co-op.

I do think the cash system can work for some people. Using cash really helps you see exactlly where your money goes and when you are out shopping and it's gone, it's gone, there just isn't anything more.

Another reason we stick to our debit card is because our local bank gives us $0.10 each time we swipe it. It may not sound like much but throughout the month it adds up much faster than any interest we'd ever be able to accrue on our checking or savings account so when we get that deposited in our account, it's like a sweet treat.

However, even though we don't get to use the cash method, we've still found a method that works for us.

I'd love to hear from other readers on you only use cash? If you do, how did you set up your "system"? If you don't use cash, is there a certain reason?

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jen June 28, 2011 at 1:38 pm

We create a budget for each paycheck of my husbands. We know what bills are to be paid from it and we set a certain amount aside each time for groceries, gas, savings, etc. The only cash we use is $30 spending money each week, for whatever we need it for. Everything else we use the debit card for. It is so much easier to keep track of everything and once the spending money is gone, it’s gone.


2 Heather June 28, 2011 at 3:32 pm

We don’t use cash either. We use a credit card (which we pay off every month) for our gas, groceries, etc. Since I check the balance every day, I can see an updated list of expenditures every day. I like using this better than cash because I can keep better track of where the money is going. Once I spend cash, it’s gone and I can’t seem to remember where it all went.


3 Valerie Z June 28, 2011 at 9:41 pm

We don’t use cash because our pay is direct deposit. We use debit most of the time, but use credit for groceries, gas, and other necessities in order to gain rewards points. We live 1800 miles from our family and using points we have been able to fly home once a year for free. But, we now have 3 tickets to purchase so not sure how that will pan out this year =)


4 Spendwisemom November 26, 2011 at 5:34 am

I always use cash. I like paying for something right away and not having to worry about the record keeping, etc. with credit cards. We are trying to spend $50 per week on groceries and when it is gone, it is gone. It is a self imposed limit and if I use cash I am much more careful to stay in my limit since it is very embarrassing at the checkout if you don’t! I do realize that cash isn’t for everyone though. My husband is an accountant and he likes having records for everything so he always uses checks for his stewardship areas in our budget. I guess the most important thing is to figure out what works best for you and do it. One way isn’t best for everyone.


5 Betty May 9, 2012 at 11:25 am

We now have a strict grocery budget that feeds a family of five. I used to use my debit card at the grocery store and would buy anything i wanted or needed. Now that i carry cash, it is so much easier to tell the kids (and myself) no when there is only so much in my wallet. I always stick to my list. For bills and misc we pay online, which is so much easier than mailing in the payment.


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