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Ever have one of those days when technology completely fails you? This past week, I was frantically searching for gate information for the flight I was catching in just an hour. The internet had been down at my home so I wasn’t able to pre-print my boarding pass. Web pages on my phone were downloading slower than a turtle, and I couldn’t retrieve the airline’s reservation number from my contact list! We were nearing the airport where I was to be dropped off and had to quickly make a guess as to which terminal I would be departing from. All of this panic was caused by my reliance on technology when I really needed to do some good, old-fashioned planning ahead.

I believe the same can be true when it comes to day-to-day purchases. Although there are many great technological breakthroughs and updated ways to manage money, some low-tech practices are still of great benefit in this high-tech age. The practice of using cash for daily purchases is a low-tech solution that shouldn’t be too quickly discarded. It is the most powerful way to control daily expenses. There’s something about spending cold, hard cash that makes you think twice about your transaction.

While I recommend on-line tools to pay bills, track transactions and manage accounts, I’ve found cash is the most efficient tool to help control those pesky budget busters such as entertainment, eating out, clothes, household items and other variable expenses. It’s the key to translating your spending plan to real life.

Spending cash has 3 benefits:

• You can quickly see how much is available at a glance (even with no wi-fi connection!)
• It’s a visible, tangible expression of your plan
• When it’s gone, you’re done spending!

Next to getting the Big 3 under control, cash spending can make the biggest difference in the successful implementation of your financial plan.

How much are you planning to spend at stores & restaurants the next 2 weeks? Try withdrawing that amount in cash and separating into spending categories prior to going to the store. Experience the freedom of knowing that you will stay within your plan by simply using cash this month!

[Image by event13 on, licensed under Creative Commons]

One Response Post a comment
  1. February 4, 2013

    I could relate to this hence my experiences with over drafting charges to my checking’s accounts. Even with the technology available to me, I could not seem to keep track of my funds. Not having the cash in front of me was a big reason for that. Using physical money is a great way to keep track of your limits and stay with in budget.

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