Want to join me on a little experiment I’m trying next month? I’m going to only spend cash in the month of June. It’s called “Just-Cash June” (unless someone can think of a better name).
Everyone who participates is allowed one non-cash expenditure. I’m not sure what mine will be yet. For many, I assume it will be rent, but I pay my landord via popmoney so I can save mine for something else.
I figured I’d give everyone advance notice so you can get to a cash machine in time.
What are the rules?
If you choose to accept, you can spend only cash from June 1 to July 1. Everyone gets ONE get-out-of-jail-free card, where you can use any payment method you want. Optionally, blog or tweet about your experiences. Did your spending habits change? Was it freeing or annoying? Let me know in a comment below if you’re joining the experiment.
Why are you doing this?
I’ve experimented with Credit Card vs Debit Card spending, and found that I spend less when I use a Debit Card for everyday spending. So I want to continue the experiment to see if I’ll spend even less if I have to physically hand someone cash to make a purchase. I’m still a big fan of credit cards, especially sign-up bonuses, but I’m also a fan of spending less and conscious spending.
What about online purchases?
Unless you can figure out how to pay e-merchants with cash, you have to shop online now or wait till July. Humans somehow survived for 10,000 years without online shopping, so I think we can do another month.
What about bills?
Most bills have an auto-pay feature, which I highly suggest you sign up for anyway. It deducts the amount due from your checking account each month, so you never need to remember to pay bills any more. This is one step to “automating” your finances.*
How will you track your spending for June?
I’ll use Mint’s mobile app, which integrates with their website and lets you add cash purchases. You could use a piece of paper in your pocket if you want to go low-tech.
* The other main step is automatic savings plans such as having your 401k deducted from your paycheck, or setting up a monthly transfer from checking to savings. Set these things up too and you’ll be well on your way to automated, worry-free finances.