You might remember that nearly two months ago, I decided to try out only spending cash for my purchases for at least a month, just to see how well I could do (and how much money I could save). Since the month long period will come to an end at the end of this week (how’s that for convenient?), I figured now would be as good a time as any to review how I’m doing on going cash-only. So, here we go:
The Good: Well, I am spending less money. I’ve cut back on the food I buy at the supermarket and any spending that I do online significantly. (I’m nearly down to zero spending online, although the occasional magazine renewal or book purchase sneaks in.) Combined with increased attempts to pay off my current credit bills, and my level of credit card debt has gone down significantly since I started trying to cut down my spending.
The Bad: I haven’t cut down my spending nearly as much as I would like. There are still areas where I use credit cards rather than cash (when I pump gas, for one), and numerous times when I’ve been caught short on cash, I’ve whipped out the plastic rather doing the more financially frugal thing and going without until I had the money on hand and could afford to pay for it that way.
The Ugly: I’m still spending more each month than I am taking in (especially now that my boost in alternative income last month due to long-term advertising arrangements has concluded). I’ve managed to pay off a substantial amount of the credit card debt with student loans, but (a) that’s only swapping one type of debt for another, (b) it doesn’t even do that if I end up simply adding on more credit card debt in its place, and (c) as the rappers say, ‘Mo’ Debt, Mo’ Problems’. (Alright, they normally say, ‘Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems’, but if more of them had $9000+ in credit card debt they were trying to clear on an $1100 monthly income, you can bet there would be more songs denouncing Visa and American Express.)
All of this is to say, I’ve got my work cut out for me if I hope to really go cash only, to say nothing of paying off all this credit card debt. I’m sure that, if I put my nose to the grindstone, I can get everything paid off, but it’s going to take some time and some effort to reach that point.
Luckily, there’s plenty of encouragement out there, if you know where to look. May I suggest starting with some of the great post in the Yakezie Network? Here’s just a small sampling:
Good Yakezie Posts
Where The Amateur Financier Was Featured