This is not something new that's on my mind, in fact, something had been in the works for the last three months. See, on March 1, I made our family switch to over to a cash system for the day to day expenses. The process is very simple, on the first of every month take out in one lump sum the amount of cash we need for that month (based on an allocated budget for each expense: i.e. lunch, groceries, eating out, entertainment, etc). After three months, I was able to track and analyze our spending patterns and the results was astounding. Here are a few things that stood out the most:
-We couldn't completely be on a cash system, but it is actually much easier than it seems to stick to it.
-Taking a large amount of money out on the first of the month is gut-wrenching but the amount of money left over at the end of the month is always a welcome surprise that rolls over to the following month.
-Our biggest pitfall in our expense resides in four areas: eating out, shopping, Target and gas.
-The rest of the budget is surprisingly manageable.
So, in an effort to combat the pitfalls, I have identified 5 actions that we will take as a family to better our finances. They are spontaneous and quick scribbles on a post-it notes that turn out to define our very existence this month.
They stayed tacked to the side of my work office, as a constant reminder to me to not fall short on them. I will be back on the 30th of the month to report how it all went down.