Welcome to another Miko’s Moments.
This week, I had a thought that really surprised me. “Do I want to stop using cash envelopes?” Ultimately, do I want to stop being an all-cash spender?
I have been spending cash for my variable spending for over nine years. What started as an attempt to control my impulse purchases turned into a habit. Something that started out feeling tedious turned into something that made me feel in control.
There is no doubt that spending cash changed how I spent my money. It changed everything for me. From the decisions around what I bought to finding clarity around the consequences of my spending, the cash envelope method brought awareness into my life and made my budget more real than ever.
That said, I have also grown in 9 years. With growth, there is change. Do I still need to depend on spending cash to control my spending? The answer to that is probably not.
Having this thought made me ask an even more important question. Am I making the implementation of my budget harder by continuing to spend cash, even when I really don’t need to?
If you look at the cash envelope method, it’s ultimately just another way we spend and manage our money. Just like choosing to use a debit card or a credit card that you pay off every month. Could my budgeting process be easier without the extra steps of the cash envelope method?
The honest answer to this – yes, it could be. I could skip going to the bank and pulling out cash every paycheck; I wouldn’t have to spend time making cash envelopes or keep a separate expense tracker for my cash purchases. Yes, it would eliminate steps.
Here’s the ultimate conclusion to this thought. It might eliminate steps in my budgeting process, but I wouldn’t have the same awareness or organization that I crave when it comes to my money.
I still believe that if you are just starting out with budgeting or are wanting to control your spending, that the cash envelope method can be a game-changer. Does that mean you will never be ready to step away from being an all-cash spender? No. But it will teach you the imperative foundational knowledge you need when you are seeking clarity and control.
Once you feel like you have reached success with your budget, you will then have to decide if you should change the process of how you spend money. For me, I am going to keep the process the same. I love my cash envelopes, and I love being an all-cash spender. Maybe one day that will change, but for now, I am going to stick with what works.