Hi Loves! It’s time for a Frugal Friday post. I’ve been doing a lot of reading. I’ve found some great personal finance books that I might be reviewing soon for you. I’m not sure since they’ve been out for a while if another review really needs to be written. Maybe instead… some thoughts on them.
Anyway – today’s post is about an experiment that I’ve been doing for over a month now. I’m a mystery shopper. Yes… it is a legit thing. Contact me if you’re interested in learning more. The shops can anywhere from $3-40 each. They are kind of random, but I like the $3-5 shops because I can do them from home on my lunch break since many are online or phone calls. Lately, when I get paid with a check in the mail for anywhere from $20-55 for 2 weeks of mystery shops, I have been cashing them at my bank.
Why? I have been reading that spending money on anything is harder when you have cash. I thought I’d try it out. I’ve seriously cut back on my debit card purchases and have been getting random groceries, gas, eating out, etc with cash for the most part. Having something tangible in my hand to pay with has made a difference for me. For example, I was out with friends, and instead of ordering an expensive drink at the bar, I opted for a glass of pop and paid $2 cash. I wanted a snack but nothing big, so I ordered a side of fries and paid $3.50 cash. I will often randomly pull out my wallet and see what I have because I’m a visual person and I like seeing money in it!
I’ve loosely based this on the cash envelope system. I have little organizer dividers in my wallet that I’ve labeled with a section for gas, groceries, food & drink, and misc. Typically any extra money goes into the food & drink section. Although if I’ll need gas, I might pull $20 out of my account and put it in the “gas” section to wait until I fill up. If I have it sort of ear-marked to use that $20 for gas, I usually won’t touch it. If I have a movie date with friends, I might put $10 in misc until I need it.
We all know I’m…frugal. Not cheap! I do appreciate expensive things and don’t mind paying for them but as with my battle of emotional eating, I am also an emotional spender. My family knows my love of “retail therapy.” 🙂 Cash is one tiny way that I’ve been able to help keep myself accountable. Will it work for everyone? Who knows.
Let me know if you’ve tried this or what your trick is to keep your spending in check?
Have a great day!