Frugal Challenge- Pay With Cash

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How many of you use cash? Do you use cash for small purchases like the drive-thru? Do you use cash for larger purchases like groceries? Do you even have any cash on you ( sorry change don’t count)? Or do you depend on your debit card and credit cards?


Well, this weeks challenge is to start using cash for all your purchases. If you are using cash you are a lot more mindful of what you are spending because you don’t want to be that person that spent more then they had and are checking out and have to have the cashier take things off, not to mention you are having to go through the bags to decide what to put back. And just because this is the way things go there is a huge line behind you haha. ( And they are not happy lol).


When using cash you are way more apt to stick with your list. Bring only the amount that you have budgeted for this weeks shopping trip and leave the debit and credit cards at home because if you have them with you-you know you don’t have a back up if you decide you just NEED something that isn’t on your list. In fact get in the habit of leaving your debit and credit cards at home when you run to town you will be far less tempted to grab some quick fast food, a coffee or some random thing.


I am not going to lie it will be a little bit of a challenge to leave home without the debit or credit card since you are so used to having this backup. But after a bit, it will get easier and you will be a lot more conscious about how and where you are spending your money.


One added benefit from this is if for some reason the system for cards is down at the store they can still take cash. ( Which seems to happen pretty regular here).


One reader suggested that you take what money you have left over and add it to your money stash. If you are not a bare-bones budget and can afford to this would be a very good idea.

6 Replies to “Frugal Challenge- Pay With Cash”

  1. NRP

    A couple of things on Cash;

    First of never and I do mean NEVER flash it around when you count it out at a checkout line. If you’re going to several different stores, take only what you need into that store, leave the rest SECURED in the car/truck.

    Next, I disagree with leaving the CC’s at home, Take ONE with you, but again leave them in the Truck/Car, you never know when you might break-down and need a $1000 to get the car fixed and get home, tires come to mind.

    Also I’m a “sales” buyer, if I know I’m 2-3 short on my goal for my Deep Pantry, and I see them on sale, I would go to the Truck and grab that CC and get them, BUT when the CC bill comes in PAY IT OFF. But again, leave the CC in the Car, make it an effort to use it.

    Another thing I do, and will state the reason in a second, I always “Cash” any checks that come in (Paychecks, SS, Whatever). Seeing those green-backs in hand is different than seeing 1’s and 0’s in the Checkbook. I also make sure I cover the checks I need to write when I pay the check-bills (Bills I pay via check and mail). I NEVER leave cash in the Banks, do you?
    Do you realize if the Bank fails of goes on a “Bank Holliday” that money you have in the Bank is NOT yours, new current passed laws declare that money you deposit is an “Unsecured Loan to the Bank”, seriously, look it up. Get yourself a GOOD Safe.

    Lastly, Do you have a Coin Jar? A Binder Clip for those $1’s and $5’s you get as change? Try this for two months, take all the Change, 1’s and 5’ and just stuff em in a sock in the freezer, after 2 months pull it out and count what you have……

  2. Post author

    Yes it is a good idea to have some backup in your vehicle or even in your purse but there are some who are not going to have the willpower to not go ahead and get a few extra things when they can’t afford it because they know ” Oh I can just run out to the car and grab my CC” and if money is super tight that is going to push the budget over the limit. So I guess it kind of depends on the person if they know they are going to have the willpower to not spend extra unless it is an emergency and if they have the extra money to grab those items that are on sale.

    Haha hard to have money in the bank when you don’t have any. I completely agree on no money in the banks wish I could get others to see that also.

    I do save all my change, Pretty funny in another life I was a waitress and I would save all my change from my tips in a coffee can and at the end of the month I would cash it in and pay my rent. I don’t think people realize just how fast change adds up.

  3. Angela Johnson

    I think this is great! I am really bad to just use credit cards, even though we pay the bill off immediately, and we do not spend more than we have in the bank, I need to do a better job of using more cash. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Post author

      It is surprising how yo look at purchases differently when you are paying cash for them, just something about having to hand over actual cash makes you really think about it. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day,

  4. Helena Bergen

    This would take a bit of time to get used to but I think it would really help to become aware of just how much money is actually being spent. I have to think about it but I may be ready to commit to doing this in the new year. Thanks for the challenge!

  5. Linda S

    We started using a cash system many years ago for our day-to-day spending and expenses. We budget for groceries, entertainment, church offering, etc. and I separate it out at the beginning of each month so I know how we are doing as the month goes by.
    I’m grateful to my husband who has a good handle on all this, because I’m a freespirit spend-thrift!
    Thank you for sharing these tips and ideas at our Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop
    and Have A Very Merry Christmas!