Becoming Debt Free in 2009

December 30, 2008

Cash Only 2009

Filed under: Budget,Dave Ramsey — ambercouric @ 11:21 am

It is official.  Or at least official for me.  I will only use cash for the entire 2009.  That means I will use the Dave Ramsey cash envelope method for the entire year.  In the past I have only used the credit card for large purchases – there will be NO large purchases for 2009.  I use my debit card all the time which leads to overspending because I know there is plenty in the account to cover whatever I spend. 

Since the 1st is a holiday DH’s pay will be deposited today.  So as of today I am a cash only girl.  I think the hardest part of this will be paying for gas with cash.  I hate to walk into a convenience store.  But I can do it.

Now, just to be able to budget well enough so that I’m not short at the end of the month.



  1. Wow! Thats great! At first I thought you meant no credit cards, but debit was still okay…but no debit cards! Wow! (I only say that cuz I use mine alot too….hmmm, and like you i overspend..)

    Sounds like you got something good going on there! Best of luck with that! =)

    Comment by PJ — December 30, 2008 @ 11:48 am

  2. Oh wow! That’ll take tremendous planning and will power, but I know many people do it. I know you’ll do well. Keep us updated on how it works out for you!

    Comment by shtinkykat — December 30, 2008 @ 12:13 pm

  3. Good Luck with your goal! I know how you feel about paying for gas with cash. I was robbed once at a bank machine.

    Where I bank, I can reduce the spending and withdrawal limits on my debit card to control spending. Can your bank do that?

    Comment by Money MInder — December 30, 2008 @ 2:03 pm

  4. That is awesome! Great idea and good luck with it.

    Comment by Budget Mama — December 30, 2008 @ 2:42 pm

  5. That is HARD to do. But I think it’ll really help 🙂

    Good luck!

    Fabulously Broke in the City
    Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver…

    Comment by Fabulously Broke — December 30, 2008 @ 2:46 pm

  6. I could never do that! I rely on my debit card to keep track for budgetting! I have a hard time not losing my receipts. And not to mention to forget to bring the cash with you!

    And I’d be worried about losing the money.

    The one upshot would be savings – it’s much easier to apportion money to various savings categories. I can’t see going to my bank and opening up 4 savings accounts.

    Best of luck!!

    Comment by debtmaven — December 30, 2008 @ 5:12 pm

  7. Yes, I didn’t want to walk into a convenience store to pay for gas either, until they started recognizing me as a regular customer and offered free sodas and coffees for every fill up. Paying with cash…WORKS. As long as you leave your debit and credit cards at home…

    I’ll be cheering you on! You can do it!

    Comment by Sharon — December 30, 2008 @ 5:23 pm

  8. This link leads to the pages of Gail Vaz Oxlade (she of the “Gail Planner” we Canadian PF bloggers are raving about) and her budget. You plug in your monthly expenses and you get your weekly jar amounts (similar to Dave Ramsey’s envelope system). You can’t print it off however, but I think there must be a way to “save as.” You might be able to tweak some costs and save even more:

    Regardless, I will be following your cash only journey and cheering you on! Best of luck! 🙂

    Comment by Annie — December 30, 2008 @ 6:22 pm

  9. It is sort of like giving yourself an allowance. Because you can see a physical pile of money getting smaller, you end up thinking about every purchase, and whether you really need it or not.

    I have gotten pretty used to it, but I can’t make myself do it for gas purchases. Good luck with that part.

    Comment by Over the Cubicle Wall — December 30, 2008 @ 6:40 pm

  10. Wow, that’s a big move. I did the same when I was on unemployment years ago. Now I enjoy the convenience and cash back of using credit, just have to stay on budget. Good luck with your new system.

    Comment by Miss M — December 30, 2008 @ 7:35 pm

  11. I, too, am working with cash, at least on a trial basis for the first three months. I’ve never done it this way before so it will be interesting for sure. Mine is based on the “Til debt do us part” link that Annie posted.

    I will be following your journey this year. Best wishes!

    Comment by jolie — December 30, 2008 @ 8:06 pm

  12. Oh man…I couldn’t do cash at the gas station. Do you have kids? If you do, then you have to leave them in the car to go pay, and I don’t really want to do that. And I REALLY don’t want to take them all out to go pay! lol

    I hope the cash thing works well for you!

    Comment by Kristen@The Frugal Girl — December 30, 2008 @ 8:58 pm

  13. Wow, I can’t wait to see how this works out for you. Paying ‘cash only’ may work in your favor from keeping you to make extra expenditures due to its inconvienences like having to walk in the store to pay for gas. 😉

    Cool beans!

    Comment by money funk — December 31, 2008 @ 2:11 am

  14. Hey Girl! Im back again, because since your post I keep thinking about this idea! I just think its awesome..but I do worry about it being “too big of a bite” you see, I have been considering doing a similar plan, to reduce the use of cards. So I do have just one suggestion (and keep in mind, its just my thoughts!) =)

    The one thing you will want to avoid is the feeling that this elimination of cards (credit and debit) is a punishment. So the thought I had is the idea of a “rolling out” process. Start by only using cash for 1 or 2 areas of spending, such as eating out, groceries or gas. Once that has sunk in and you feel comfortable using cash for those purchases, add on another area. Create a timeline to follow as to when you will eliminate another area of card usage to stay on a path. It will allow you to ease into this cash only world and feel proud of each accomplishment.

    of course we are all different, and that plan may just be one that works for me. I know a friend of mine who is “all or nothing” kind of girl who would need to do it all at once, and thats just how she is! It works for her.

    So again, like before GOOD LUCK!!! It will be interesting to hear how things go.

    Take Care,

    Comment by PJ — December 31, 2008 @ 3:30 am

  15. Hi there-very best of luck, I really hope this system is successful for you. I would suggest using a spending diary, then at the end of January, you will have a good idea of amounts spent in different categories. You can then set your budgets around these spends-good luck!

    Comment by sharon rose — December 31, 2008 @ 7:09 am

  16. Yahoo! Me too, Me too!!! With the exception of gas 😉 It is just a pain in the butt to have to drag dd (5)into the gas station when it is snowing & blowing ~ I have it just labeled into my budget allowance as bill pay… so I should be okay.

    Comment by jpkittie — December 31, 2008 @ 9:50 am

  17. Thanks for all the comments.

    @Annie – thanks for that link. I am in the US and don’t know alot about Gail. I tried to watch the videos from her website but it won’t let me because I’m in the US. I do like the budget sheet.

    About the gas – my boys are teenagers and I stop by for gas normally with older son is with me so I can go in while he pumps. Also, I only have to get gas 2-3 per month. And when my college student is around he will just take my car for me.

    @PJ – I’m kinda an all or nothing kinda girl. If I say I’m going to do it I just do it. My husband is the one who always says “we’re not going that far”.

    Looks like several of us will be trying this. Good luck.

    Comment by ambercouric — December 31, 2008 @ 10:13 am

  18. We are starting the same thing tomorrow! Good luck to you!

    Comment by adventuresandmusings — December 31, 2008 @ 5:51 pm

  19. […] and Sages plans to save a day to build that essential emergency fund. “Ambercouric” at Becoming Debt Free in 2009 says, “As of today I am a cash-only girl.” Janelle at Now Play Happy resolves to visit […]

    Pingback by New Year’s resolutions — PF style — December 31, 2008 @ 7:36 pm

  20. Wow – good luck!

    Comment by SimplyForties — January 1, 2009 @ 12:48 pm

  21. […] Sages plans to save $1 a day to build that essential emergency fund. “Ambercouric” at Becoming Debt Free in 2009 says, “As of today I am a cash-only girl.” Janelle at Now Play Happy resolves to visit […]

    Pingback by New Year’s resolutions — PF style | — January 2, 2009 @ 4:07 am

  22. Dave Ramsey Rules!!! But, use your Debit card at the gas station. Your debit card is your money. It is cash. Just budget how much you plan to spend on gasoline each month. Do not sacrifice safety for frugality. Good luck. Once you get used to the cash only system you will wonder how you ever lived with the stress of credit cards.

    Comment by Martha — January 2, 2009 @ 7:30 am

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