Stuffing cash: 6 tips for managing a cash budget only

This story is part of even moneyan online community dedicated to financial empowerment and advice, led by CNET Editor-in-Chief at Great Podcasting Host and So Money Farnoosh Torabi.

A recent study found that “money stuffing“Where you put dollar bills into envelopes, folders, liquor bottles or just about anything, is a hot trend with Gen Zers and millennials. The act of hiding dollar bills in creative spots has taken off on TikTok over the spring. Researchers at Credello, a platform For personal finance, I found that more than half of young adults routinely use cash fillers to manage their money, build savings, and pay off debt.

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This warms my heart.

As a personal financial expert and parent, I know firsthand how using cash can encourage more financial discipline than credit. I practiced this technique in early adulthood. Since cash has real physical limits (I only spent what I had in my wallet), I didn’t spend much. It helped me get rid of thousands of dollars of credit card debt within a year.

2021 Study MIT I found that giving away cash at the register for wiretapping your credit card causes a higher degree of ‘pain’. This is actually a good thing. While credit cards have the intangible “deal with it later” quality, when we use the Great Dollar, we only pay for what we can afford, which can improve our chances of getting budget constrained.

But in our hyper-online world where digital payments are the norm, and Almost half of consumers Mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Venmo are used to make transactions, what is involved in successfully implementing a cash-only strategy? Is it possible?

a So Money podcast Listener and newsletter subscriber, Ricky, recently asked: I’m having trouble sticking to a budget and would like to start mobilizing cash… How can I implement an entire cash budget if I have a credit card balance that I need to pay off?

I have some best practices (and pitfalls) for Reiki and anyone looking to “cash” their way to savings.

1. Be realistic when developing your strategy

While some extreme cash-grabbers might try to pay for everything with dollar bills, that’s not possible for most of us, considering the number of merchants and services that prefer — or even require — digital payments.

The cash filler works best for expenses that vary from month to month, such as food, gas, or household necessities, as you have better control over personal spending.

Once you know the bills and payments you’ll be using your money for, make a plan. Understand why and how stuffing cash can enable you to achieve your goals too Save more money Or spending more consciously is an important first step to setting yourself up for success.

For example, if you’re hoping to save a certain amount each month, that might mean putting that amount into cash each time you get paid in its own envelope (and putting that envelope out of sight).

Or if you want to take advantage of the money stuffing for better spending processing, you can book a limited amount of cash each month for necessities like groceries and fuel and then use the rest to pay off a large portion of the debt each month.

In the case of Ricky, you can technically be on a cash budget only when Pay off credit card debt. You can either pay off your credit card balances each month at the issuer’s physical branch or ATM, or pay virtually from a checking or savings account.

2. Calculate how much cash you will need

Knowing how much cash you’ll need on hand each month or how much you should save to reach your goal will require some tracking. I recommend checking past bank statements to see how much you tend to spend in each variable category, such as groceries, gas, utilities, clothing, and entertainment. From there, stick to your spending limit or savings goal and set aside that amount for that corresponding circumstance.

Note that unlike variable expenses, many fixed monthly expenses, such as rent, mortgage, credit card balances, loans, or even a Netflix account, often require some form of online payment.

Pro tip: Store 10% of each paycheck in a “savings” envelope to make sure you always end the month with more money.

3. Separation of credit

One of the main reasons people choose to use cash is to rely less on credit cards to pay expenses. As the Federal Reserve Keep raising interest rates To try to curb inflation, it is good to Demolition of outstanding debt balances sooner rather than later.

While stuffing cash can reduce the temptation to overspend in physical stores, it cannot stop you from overspending online. So if you find yourself needing to pay for something digitally that usually comes from your top-up system, be sure to reconsider your plan and settle the expenses.

Also consider removing credit card numbers saved in your phone or on websites, which makes purchasing very easy. Having to enter your card information before making a purchase requires more time and effort which can help reduce the temptation to spend.

4. Expect to spend more time shopping

When I think about how a cash-only budget affects my daily routine, I feel uncomfortable on multiple levels. First, I imagine going to an ATM to withdraw cash. Then, if it’s a cash-spending strategy, I’m thinking of coming in person to a grocery store, which takes more time than ordering groceries online and paying with a credit card.

The cash system just means taking more trips and moving away from the spot-buy model that many of us have become accustomed to during the pandemic. And that’s not a bad thing – it’s just something to plan for.

5. Keep receipts

Having a paper record of your cash purchases is important, especially for big-ticket items that you might want to return or just have as proof of purchase. Online cash transactions like credit purchases are not tracked. Always get a receipt printed, emailed, or mailed to you after purchase.

6. Understand your trade-off

Paying cash can help you reduce overspending and build savings while taking a large portion of your debt. But you also give up some benefits.

For example, if you use a credit card and pay off the balance in full every month, you can earn points or rewards that you wouldn’t get when paying with cash. You also do not earn interest on your savings. And if you waste your money where it is, there is no way to get it back.

Some credit cards are also offered Purchase Protection, which allows you to get a refund or compensation in the event of theft or accidental damage to the item you purchase. Unless you buy a guarantee, buying with cash won’t give you the same peace of mind.

Finally, deciding not to use credit cards in any way may prevent you from creating a file Strong credit scoreThis is crucial if you are looking to buy a house, rent a car, or even move into a new apartment.

For more financial advice, check out Financial Tips on TikTok You Should Always Avoid. Find ways to save more money together Our favorite savings challengesand know what to do if you You can’t pay your credit card This month.

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