Hmm… How should I say this? I failed? I messed up? I stink?!? Any way you put it, I made a miserable mess of the Cash Only Experiment. Here’s why:
I decided on the amount of cash (what I had on-hand) BEFORE I completed my budget. So…
I did not start with enough cash, and there was no way that I was being realistic. Because I KNEW from the beginning that I did not have enough cash to last, I just spent it “outside” of the boundaries of my budget. In other words, because I knew that the cash could not be stretched for the entire month, I just spent it willy-nilly, without regard, knowing that I was going to have to use checks or debit cards for the rest of my expenses. I was not “bound” to the cash. It was just one of several options.
So, here’s what I plan to do.
1. Actually have a plan for using only cash next month.
2. Actually budget enough cash for an entire month.
3. ONLY use cash next month. NO debit card, no checks. Nothing but cash.
Here’s the last chart. I am humbled.
As for what finally knocked me out? Dry cleaning, gas, groceries, etc. I just never had enough cash to begin with. I had unrealistic expectations about my ability to use cash-only, and I self-sabotaged because I knew that I had more options. Next month will be cash-only by DESIGN. I will never again do something like this “on a whim”. I have learned that I must prepare and focus. No knee-jerk financial junk for me. Not again. I am glad to have “re”-learned this lesson. An idea without focus is WORTHLESS. I had a goal, but I set myself up to fail because I had unrealistic expectations. Poor job, NCN!