Thursday, February 2, 2017

Shopaholic on a Budget: One Month on Cash

As of Tuesday, January 31, 2017, the Zinns have made it an entire month on a cash budget for eating/going out and spending money. It's been rough, but also super effective.

©  | Dreamstime Stock Photos
You can read my original post,Shopaholic on a Budget - The Zinns Get a Budget, to get a better idea of why we ended up on a semi-cash budget and how the rest of our budget functions.  To put it succinctly, we ended up here because Sarah likes to shop. LulaRoe, Stitch Fix, Fabletics, and Amazon are my downfalls in life. That and the ridiculous amounts of emails that I get every day telling me to "act now!" and that the greatest deal of my life is inside this email! It's a lot for a girl that admittedly loves material gain at a discount. So we went to cash. I like to say control what you can and cash control what you can't. 

Here is how our cash works. We each have $100 for the month and we get $150/paycheck for going out to eat or other activities like the movies. Our spending money covers meals on our own, Starbucks, shopping, etc. The going out money covers activities we do together. We decided to start taking out our leftover money from our bi-weekly going out allotment to save for some nice date nights.

It's been a whole month. I can say that it worked like a charm but wasn't the easiest at times. I'm going to give you both mine and Aaron's perspectives.

Sarah
Money started with: $100
Money at the end of the month: $7

For me, this was hard! Right off the bat, I had $35 come out for Stitch Fix. That's actually cheap for Stitch Fix because I had two gift cards. This made me realize that I'm going to have to probably space out my fixes even more so that I can save up for them. Right after buying my items from my fix, we had crazy snow and I bought furry boots on clearance from Target for $20. Best $20 ever. I ate out a few times with some friends and about two weeks in was down to $30. This experiment so far has really made me stop and think. I wanted to save $10 this month to go toward buying a new purse, so when I hit $11, I stopped going out to eat.  This means I ate my leftover lunches more and went to Cookout less. Then my co-worker went out for knee surgery and they took up money to send her flowers. That was love people! It's been a couple days, I'm back to $100 and I'm being super stingy with it. I want a new purse and those aren't cheap, my friend is having a LulaRoe party in March (actually, I've been invited to like 8 lately. Stop it people!!) and I need to replenish my Starbucks account. So, basically, I can't spend money in February. Who wants to adopt me?! No? Fine.   

Aaron
Money started with: $100
Money at the end of the month: $29 

I felt that it was good because it cut down on the crazy amount of transactions in our account. It made me think about my purchases a little harder. This month wasn't really that hard for me. There are things I would like to buy, but I don't need, so the waiting isn't fun. My favorite part is not having $24 at the end of the month and being able to put money in savings and paying off debt. It's good, it's going to be tough, but it's going to be worth it. It's also funny that some of my friends have mocked me for having a budget.

Going Out Money
Money started with: $300 (total)
Money ended with: $19

This by far has been our biggest success! We used to eat out so much on the weekends and had multiple $50+ bills when you included tip. We're now eating more Subway, Moe's and smaller chains and saving our leftover money for a fancy date night. I'm hoping for sushi this month!

So, month 1 on cash is down. We have an extra $500 in the bank account and life is good. Now, Sarah just needs to keep calm and not spend the money! Have you started a new budget for this year? How's it going? Please tell me I'm not the only one going through shopping withdrawals!

11 comments:

  1. I think the cash system is a great idea. It's easier to spend with a piece of plastic. With a daughter now in college sadly Stitch Fix is a thing of the past and Starbucks is a rare treat. Hope you find a great deal on a purse!

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    1. Thank you, me too! I have the ability to find and adore the most expensive purse in a store, haha.

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  2. This is great, Sarah! We don't use the cash method, but we did use the $100 "fun money" for each of us when we first set up out budget and it worked really well for us. It can be tricky sometimes, but once you get used to it and see yourself accomplishing other goals, it will just become the norm.

    Good for you guys! Here's to month 2, right?

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    1. Thanks Mary Leigh! We are definitely getting used to it. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. And yes, here's to month 2! And many more!

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  3. Love this post! It's so interesting to hear how other people handle budgeting. We have been using Mint.com to track all our spending for the past year and a half and it has been a game changer for us. It's amazing to see how quickly things like Starbucks/dinners out can add up. Sounds like y'all are off to a great start- congrats on completing your first month! 😊

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    1. Thanks! We did Mint.com for a while. My problem was that it didn't restrict me, just showed me how much I spent lol. I needed something to reign in my "oh but it's on sale!" urges.

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  4. That's awesome to hear about your cash budget approach and that it's going well! I sometimes put myself on a cash budget if I feel like I've been on a spending spree, but I'm never very strict about it and I never go as long as a month - good for you for staying on top of it! And stay strong in the face of all those StitchFix and LulaRoe and purse temptations! It makes the purchase all the more sweeter when you specifically save up for them :)

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  5. A budget is the way to go! We don't use the cash system, prefer our debit cards, but we do use a budget app called ynab. It's working great! Happy to hear your finding a system that works for you too. :)

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  6. *clings to credit card* This would be the toughest thing for me! I should try this though. This challenge is great.

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  7. This is a super useful post, that would take some courage for me to do, but it definitely needs to be done with me soon! You can't change the numbers and it is what it is. Hugs...

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  8. I really need to buckle down and go by my budget. Sadly I am an Accountant and real good at telling clients how to best use their money to save. I however suck at it. Add in my loving husband who when given $100 will spend $50 in one day and defend his action by saying he works hard and its not worth working if he can't do what he wants. Sigh. I am also a major shopaholic, hello Fashion Blogger here lol. This week alone I spent $200 on Spring clothing and makeup. I swear one day I will follow my budget and find a way to contain my husband's spending.
    xo, Lee
    Wine & Couture

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