Today is the last day of the month which usually means it is the worst day of the month for spending money. That was one of the first major ironies I noticed when I stopped working - so much time to spend money while having so little money to spend. Currently, we are trying to save money for a down payment on a house, among other things. This means that we do crazy things like try to live well below our means. Saying it, of course, is always easier than doing it. Like I said, we're trying to do this.

In order to help curb our spending, we've adopted the cash system. This means that I carry around a coupon organizer similar to this:

I label each slot something different, some of my labels are Food/Household, Date Money, and Fun Money. At the beginning of each month, I go to the ATM and draw out the cash. That is why the first day of the month is the BEST day and the last day is the WORST.

No matter how hard I try, I always end up scrounging through our change bucket on the last day of the month for money to buy bread and milk. It never fails. Like yesterday, I was buying eggs with quarters and dimes, while wrestling with Luke at the checkstand. Not fun. It was as if I could hear my debit card calling me from my wallet, "It would be so much easier if you would just swipe me." I kind of try to view the whole cash system as a game. I could use my debit card, but then I would lose the game!

Please don't think we're starving. As I type this, I'm eating an apple turnover from the bakery that I purchased this morning with nickels. Also, we always seem to have rice and beans, stuff to make spaghetti and chocolate chip cookies, plus lots of bacon. I've never had a problem meeting that 60 grams of protein requirement for pregnant women. Although, I do find myself around this time of the month fantasizing about my first of the month shopping trip. I can't wait to buy ice cream and tri-tip on Saturday. It's going to be sooooooooooooooo good.


  1. I think I'm going to be moving to the coupon organizer. I have been doing okay on cash (although traveling has caused some problems), but...it's time to be honest about my problems with eating out.

    Have fun shopping on Saturday!

  2. oh man...try last week and a half! potato soup goes a loooong way :) I think January is the worst month of all...because everyone starts blowing their January budget the end of December!

  3. I love this method. I think of it like a game too. By the last week or 2 of the month though, we appear to be like homeless people eating gross food and going without. I need to distribute the "good" food and not use it all up at once, you know?

  4. Tyler and I do the cash system as well, for the same reasons. I feel exactly the same way. I can't wait for tomorrow, because it is PAY DAY. I am already planning on how much money I need, and we are going to have some carne sada from the Mexican store down the street from our house...YUMMMM

  5. I have never used the cash system... although I once attempted to write down everything I bought for 1 week. My problem is no matter how frugal I am, I have a husband who is not phazed by buying a $5 item here and there which REALLY adds up. I tried setting a budget for him and it is just not in his vocabulary. Okay- here's a scary thing- I just realized we spend $500 a month on GAS!!! OUCH!

  6. I prefer to do it this way as well.
    I HATE balancing the checkbook, so it takes a lot less time if I only have to balance the bills instead of balancing all the little expenses. This is probably sad to say but even though I look like a crazy person the last day of the month bringing all my change to Taco Bell to get a burrito I feel proud knowing I "won" that month.

  7. (Caitlin)What's interesting is when I don't plan out meals for each week, I end up going to the grocery store about 3 times during the week and spending way more than our budget. So I always try to have a menu and list of food for the week before I do my weekly grocery shopping and we always have a dinner and always stay within budget! I like to split the money up by each week because I find if I don't, I end up really starving by the end of the month!

  8. We only get paid on the first of the month, so I feel your end of the month pains. You'd think after 8 years of this pay system we would have it worked out. But something always comes up, or we want to do something fun and then the last few days we eat food storage.

  9. OH this is great I had to adopt the whole cash system as well and just labeled some envelopes anyway funny thing I had a couple of dollars leftover as well to buy a gallon of milk. I felt like I was ready to go back to my debit card and Megan said maybe you should wait a couple of months. It does feel like a game but it's definetly funner at the beginning!



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