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Cash Is My Best Friend

*Swipe swipe*

Charge it!

Those were my favorite words. Who needed to carry a wallet when I could just carry my check card in my back pocket? (OK, so I’m lazy…)

The downside of charging things is that it makes it too easy to just charge whatever and lose track of money easily. A penny over can cost you $39 in NSF fees…I learned that lesson the hard way. At 23, I have way more debt than I should…but at 23, I also learned all the lessons I need so far not to make the same mistakes again. As much as I wanted to indulge in things like books and clothes…and as much as I thought I was being careful with money, the plastic takes you to a whole new dimension…where APRs & NSFs suck your soul…

So with my new plan to move out by June has come the new PQ Way of spending. See…I don’t have a lot of things that I buy or spend money on…but on a bad day, when I feel like I need something to comfort me, my plastic has been there…ready to charge whatever will fill that momentary desire. Well, no more.

Cash is now my best friend. In the last two months alone, I’ve saved up almost $300, have been making my payments on time and even have room on my credit cards (Which I am NOT touching). Gone are the days where I spend every last dime and am literally riding the penny train up until my next paycheck. No sirreebob.

Take today for example. I took $200 with me to the mall. Only because I knew there was at least one purchase I’d need to make. Here’s the breakdown of what I spent.

$59 for 125ML bottle of my perfume. I normally get the 30ML but that was $39? Um…125ML would be $125 @ that rate so I think I did pretty good…and a 30ML bottle lasts me a year so this is like a long time investment.
$11 for a skirt at Express…On sale from around $60.
$17 for a shirt & $3 socks from Express from my bro (But he’ll pay me back).
$14 for a skirt at Guess…Down from around $65…HELL of a deal.
$25 for food, coffee, misc. for both me and my brother.

Things I was TEMPTED to buy…and would probably purchase if I had the plastic.
$38 Guess Wallet
$59 Pencil Skirt from Express
$25 Panties from VS
$40 Bra from VS
Undetermined amount of clothes from NY&Co.
$200 Camera from Best Buy

But I did NOT.

$70 left in my pocket and into savings.

Hells yeah.

With cash, I am more aware of my spending, what I need, what I don’t need and how much things are really costing me. As tempting as it is to say “OK, I learned my lesson…give me the plastic!”…I shall stick to cash until further notice. I will however always carry a card with me for emergencies…It shall NOT be taken out unless there is an emergency.

Things I need to cut back on in 2009:

Starbucks. Oy.
Junk food that I buy from the grocery store on an impulse and then never eat.
Eating out @ lunch. (I’ve actually been REALLY good with this.)

I will appreciate any and all money saving tips…Because I know that I have some awesome friends who know their way around a budget.

Aren’t you proud of me? I am.

I will, probably, keep blogging with updates…maybe every month about where the M.O.F. is…I am going to speak with Borders today to see if I can start at a second job…moving my savings to a faster rate!!

Is cash your best friend? Have you come out of debt? How did you do it? What were some of the mistakes/good things you did along the way?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Glyphrunner January 20, 2009, 1:08 am

    One major thing that I *try* to do is put back 10% of each paycheck away into a savings account. Even though interest rates suck eggs right now, at least the money gets socked away for later emergencies, something you’re saving for, or a chance to invest it in something a touch more lucrative.

  • Susan Kishner January 20, 2009, 1:23 am

    I’ve been reading along for a while now. I just wanted to drop you a comment to say keep up the good work.

  • Squish January 20, 2009, 8:41 am

    I do the cash thing too. I didn’t even have a bank account (the pre-paid visa my paychecks are “deposited” to doesn’t count) until this last weekend when we opened the joint account for wedding expenses.

  • perpstu January 20, 2009, 11:01 am

    Good for you! I think you will be surprised how much you can save if you are not stopping at Starbucks. Take the $20. you would spend every week and IMMEDIATELY put it in savings so you won’t spend it on something else!

    XOXOXO

  • Cassie January 20, 2009, 11:35 am

    I have no tips…some times I REALLY good at saving, some times I suck at it. I will save GOOD LUCK TO YOU!!!!

    but cash is NOT my friend……I go through it faster than my acct on my atm card!

  • Jaime January 20, 2009, 1:21 pm

    I thought about working a second job at Borders as well, but then that would just give me some place to spend all my new money as soon as it comes in.

    I’m proud of you though!

  • Melanie January 20, 2009, 3:28 pm

    I am finally getting my mind around this concept as well. I realized at Christmas this year, there is nothing that I currently NEED. There are things that I WANT but they are not necessary and therefore no money needs to be spent on them. Good for you!

  • cajunvegan January 20, 2009, 8:51 pm

    Good for you! I only use my credit cards for emergencies and travel. I need to cut the debit card use down and just get cash from the bank for the week. You have inspired me.

  • bethany January 23, 2009, 4:39 pm

    Cash is my best friend, as well… I think it’s more psychological, though. With cash in hand, I’m definitely more reluctant to give up cash than swiping the plastic. It’s probably why retailers prefer plastic.

    I always buy the larger perfume bottle, because it lasts twice as long and isn’t as expensive if you do the math.

    The pencil skirt will go down soon… keep your eye on it. Retailers are suffering so there are great deals and there will be greater deals with more patience. As most people are on a spending freeze, even if you don’t get the item today, chances are it will be available the next time you go shopping..

    And I don’t know if you have them in MD, but if you do, you should try to go to Circuit City for that camera, if it’s a must have item, because there will be some great deals there, with the stores closing. What brand? Out of curiosity?

  • f.B January 23, 2009, 8:30 pm

    the best way to cut back on eating out for lunch is making an awesome dinner the night before and having left-overs. so lunch today was pan-seared pork chops with shiitake risotto. mmm

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