Money Tip Monday: Leave Your Debit/Credit Card at Home

money tip ccMy husband and I are working hard to save money, get out of debt, and hopefully buy a house within the next few years. We are good at budgeting, and we’re getting much better at saving. Here is my money tip of the day to help you get on track with us!

Today’s tip: Leave credit and debit cards at home. Do not take them with you when you leave the house.

Here are the facts: you absolutely have to have a budget if you’re going to get out of debt and save money, it is a must. Your budget should include a small weekly spending allowance so that you have a few extra bucks in your pocket for wants or needs. You should already have a full tank of gas, because you budgeted for it and filled up the tank. So why do you need to take your debit card with you anywhere? “Just in case?”

This is the thinking that leads to wasteful spending. There are very few scenarios that require you to finish that sentence with “I really need it for something important.”

Case in point: When you make your weekly budget, plan for what you will need to spend when you’re out of the house that week (groceries, oil change, a coffee date, new work shoes, whateva). Put that cash in your wallet, leave the rest of your money in the bank, and leave your magical plastic debit and credit cards in the drawer at home.

If you go $20 over your grocery budget and you don’t have enough cash, then put a few things back. Sounds embarrassing, right? Well, it shouldn’t be. Your money is designated for very specific things, and every time you accidentally go $20 over budget, you take money away from what could have been your savings. A healthy savings account is waaaaay more important than the way you look to a complete stranger behind a cash register. Believe me.

Today’s tip in action: I pay all of my bills online during the first week of the month, with the debit cards. My husband and I fill up both of our gas tanks, with the debit cards.

Now, the bills are paid, the gas tanks are full, and we just need groceries. It works out well almost 90% of the time, unless my husband gets a speeding ticket (like he did last week), at which point I recalculate our budget and call him names (I’m kidding…sort of).

Our weekly grocery budget is $100 and our weekly allowance is $20 each. It might sound like a super small amount of money, but remember, we are saving for a house here, not trying to live like royalty. So, each week on pay day, we take $140 total out of the bank (our groceries and spending allowance), and the rest of our paychecks stay at home, on the magical plastic debit cards, in the drawer.

We have learned that there are relatively few necessities or emergencies that require us to pull those cards out of the drawer, unless it is something we specifically budget for. And this little money-saving tip has really transformed our spending habits! We aren’t wasteful, we aren’t thoughtless spenders, and we have a little money set aside for a rainy day. It is such a freeing feeling. We are far from rich, but we have all that we need and we are preparing for the future, all because of our hard work and our intentional spending habits.

Little things like this will help you to get out of debt and get money into savings. I know, because it is working for me! If you missed last week’s money tip, you can find it HERE. And you can follow our journey on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and here on the BLOG.

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4 thoughts on “Money Tip Monday: Leave Your Debit/Credit Card at Home

  1. burresor says:

    I love your attitude, especially in terms of grocery store purchases and budgeting. I have always been embarrassed when this happens and when I am shopping within a budget, but this blog has given me a fresh perspective on the matter. Thank you for such an insightful read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cate (@simplycate88) says:

      Thank you! I’m so glad this could give you a different perspective on your grocery budget. I used to waste way too much money at the store because I was embarrased to put stuff back. Now, I plan a little better before hand, but I still dont mind putting a few things back if necessary. Thanks for reading and commenting! 💞💞

      Like

  2. Life Breath Present says:

    These are really great tips! I actually pay our bills every week (or put it into a different account) and set the budget for the rest of the week, as we’re presently on a weekly and fluctuating pay schedule. I have a general idea of where we need to be each week in order to meet our goals for debt reduction and other things.

    I’ve wanted to go to a cash based home finances situation, yet most of everything has to be done online (or pay extra fees). It sounds like you’re doing something really similar 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cate (@simplycate88) says:

      Yep, pretty much the same over here. We pay most things online or with our debit cards, and it works out well. We just use cash for groceries or basic needs, so that we don’t have our debit cards in hand for frivolous spending. Thank you for stopping by and commenting! I really appreciate the support.

      Liked by 1 person

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