I know this is a question that I am asked very often in a few forms- Do I need it, Why do i need it, to why do you do it?
Budgets are always personal- you can take ideas for all over the place but unless you personalize it's highly unlikely you will have success.
So why do I cash budget? Very simple to answer-
- I spend on credit/debit like its no tomorrow however when its cash it literally pains me to spend it so I spend far less.
- I am a visual person- visually seeing the cash in and out makes more careful on the decisions I make as well has spurned my success.
- Lastly- it's very rewarding to SEE it, FEEL it, and TOUCH IT, I work hard for my money and auto deposit/debit cards have may pay almost abstract a theme or a system. VS when in the "old days" (haha) you got to cash your check and see/feel your hard work.
I started using a version of the budget by paycheck method in 1999 when my now husband I got our first apartment. Every payday put half of all bills in labeled envelopes- they were hidden in a book in our house lol! So safe I know! My younger self felt that living with my Marine was enough....
However, when I discovered the budgeting community including The Budget Mom in late 2020 I was deeply in debt and living paycheck to paycheck despite making decent money. I watched dozens of videos on it before diving in thinking "I can never do what these people do their so good it will never work" (Negative self talk is a killer progress I will add).
However, I eventually took the leap and from 10-2020 to 12-2020 I made mistakes, broke stuff and more- BUT my budgeting preferences a well as my personal strength became apparent by January of 2021.
If you are curious if you want some help deciding if you want to dive in - try this:
1- Write down all debts including student loans, mortgage EVERYTHING. Then write them in order of balance (low to high) then write them out highest interest/fees to lowest.. you can then decide if you need to concentrate on debt.
2- Write down every single expense for 1 month. You don't even have to do checks or anything just document your expenses. Then after your month ends categorize the expenses, total up each category- typically money bleeds from somewhere and this helps you identify them.
3- Lastly do a test- pull out a 50 or an one hundred dollar bill for spending money (needs to be a big bill for this experiment) watch for a week to see if you willingly break the bill or if you are resistant to it. Then the next week put the 100 in your checking account is it easier to harder spend in each method.
To Be Continued... Next week I will be explaining how to evaluate your results from the above and ways to get started affordably!