Budgeting 101: The One-Month Cash Challenge

Blog | October 11th, 2021

Budget…just hearing the word sounds a bit boring and sometimes even scary. It’s like being on a diet and thinking about all the things you can’t have. But honestly, that’s just a myth. Getting on a budget and sticking with it ultimately gives rather than taking away. The true thieves are debt that often includes fees and credit dings, the invisible interest that stacks upon credit cards making that so-called great deal more expensive than paying top price twice. Or having your joy stolen with no savings in case of unexpected expenses or emergencies. So in reality, budgeting actually keeps more money in your bank account, gives you peace with a protective cushion of cash, and all in all, allow you to afford more happiness! So, start budgeting along with saving and feel the accomplishment, freedom, and the pot of gold at the end of the financial rainbow!

There are many ways to stay within budget but a great way to get started is with the one-month cash challenge! A month flies by so go ahead and give this technique a shot and then look back and be proud of your progress!

We all know how easy it is to pay with a credit card. Swipe now, pay later…if you can. When my kids were little and money was low, putting things back on the shelf was a common occurrence. My kids would innocently say “just charge it!“. To them, it seemed like a quick fix to get what you want. And sadly some adults see it that way as well. Kids don’t realize you have to pay it back but the grim reality of adulthood is that not only do you have to pay it back, you often pay back more than the item originally cost. So put those credit cards in a baggie of water and freeze it. That’s sure to make you think twice about those purchases and how bad you really want them! Next, move on to cash!

Before You Stash the Cash, Budget!

It may take a month to get in sync with your needs before you can actually put this into motion. Make a list and categorize your monthly needs such as grocery, household necessities, clothing, and personal care, eating out, entertainment, something special as well as the unexpected. Let’s break that down a little:

  • Grocery – Food, drinks, snacks, school lunches etc.
  • Household – Cleaning items, laundry detergent, fabric softener, aluminum foil, baggies etc.
  • Clothing and Personal Care – shampoo, soap, toothpaste, make up, new shoes, school clothes etc.
  • Eating Out – Where, how often, tips etc.
  • Entertainment – Movies, concerts, bowling, a new DVD or book etc.
  • Something Special –  Can you make it through this month or is there something special you’ve been longing for? If you can’t wait, budget it in.
  • Unexpected – Birthdays, wedding gifts, teachers gifts, flat tires, you get sick land need cold medicine etc.
  • Savings – Put the rest in the bank or in savings.

Related: Comparing Successful Strategies For Rapidly Paying Off Debt!

Keep It Organized!

After you’ve budgeted and had the cash in hand, put it in an envelope or a coupon sorter. Put the allotted cash in each compartment and label it. With cash, you can easily see how much you have and what is left. When it begins to dwindle, you will slow down the spending to avoid the dreaded PB&J for the rest of the month!

Why Is Cash Convenient?

First of all, as previously mentioned, with the cash you physically see how much you have to spend and where your money goes. Other reasons may be that some places don’t take cards. You need to pay the tutor. If you’re worried about identity theft…your information isn’t on the cash! Cards swipe easily yet cash is harder to part with. When you pay with cash you may get offered a better deal which in turn saves you more money! With cash, you are always more in control of your spending.

When it’s gone it’s gone and you will not want that to happen! The world has advanced incredibly in so many ways. But sometimes simpler ways are better and less becomes more. We have become a world full of quick-fix plastic that can lead down a very dismal path. Stay aware of your spending on a daily basis and step into a much brighter tomorrow! Start budgeting today and give the one-month cash challenge a try to see how it works for you and your family! Teach the kids early and get them on a successful path for their future, too!