Cash Management System

I previously discussed the fact that I do not use credit cards. For day to day purchases, I’ve limited myself to three payment options. I use cash, checks, and debit cards. For paying monthly and annual bills, I use online bill pay.
I use cash at the gas station, grocery store, barber shop, dry cleaners, etc. In brief, in any situation where my total is less than $200, I will use cash. I like to actually “feel” the money leave my hand. This process allows me to decide if I really, really want an item, and I have to deal with the immediate consequences of my purchasing decisions.

I use checks to pay for child care, my tithe, house repairs, etc. In brief, in any situation where my total is MORE than $200 dollars, I will use a check. If I am going to spend more than $200 dollars for an “unplanned” expense, I will always discuss the purchase with my wife. We NEVER make major purchases without having a family discussion. Why? Because, it is OUR money, not my money and / or her money.

I use my debit card to pay for online purchases, quick-pay gas stations, and to reserve hotels. In brief, in any situation where a credit card would normally be used, I use a debit card. I only shop at 3 or 4 reputable online business, and my debit card is connected to a secondary checking account that has a limited amount of money. I recognize that the liability limits in place for debit cards are not the same as those in place for credit cards. But, VISA does have a policy of limiting liability. I do not use my debit card very often, and when I do, I closely track my account’s transactions.

I use online bill pay to pay monthly (and annually) reoccurring bills. In brief, I pay my electricity, cable, phone, cell phone, and insurance bills with online bill pay. I have a budget, and I pay my bills at the first of the month.

There you go. That’s how I roll. Debt-free, cash-only, easy-as-pie!

One last thing: I keep all lose change in a box on the kitchen counter, roll it up at the end of the month, and deposit it in my daughter’s Educational Savings Account.

Resource: Simple, Effective, Powerful Budgeting System