please end already january!

January 31, 2011

tomorrow is the last day of january, and it cannot come soon enough! there isn’t anything pressing about february, i just need january to be over and done with so that i can get some more cash for my little wallets!

the top two wallets were gifts to my kids from my lovely friend, michelle, in toronto. the big bear is my ‘stores’ wallet. it has about $5 left in it. the wallet beside it (what animal is that???) is our ‘eating out’ wallet. it is empty. like very empty. not even a single penny left in it. the giant wallet that isn’t shaped like an animal is my actual wallet. it holds my sacred debit card that is to be used only when buying gas. the lovely owl wallet is holding my precious birthday money. thank you little owl.

so january was our first month back on cash and boy was it not the funnest thing in the world! but, it really curbed my psychotic spending habit, so it wasn’t all for naught. i wrote down almost all of my purchases in a little notebook, which is something my crazy sister jeehon has done forever, and now i am turning into a crazy fiscally responsible person just like her. dang.

we did this ‘pay with cash only’ thing a few years ago when we were going through dave ramsey’s ‘financial peace university’. that lasted for a few months, but then we stopped. cause it’s just so much easier to use our debit card! but in one of the lessons from FPU, ramsey explained that studies have been done to determine the physical effects of paying for an item – how your body reacts to paying for something. they used 3 forms of payment – cash, debit card, and credit card. when people paid for an item with a credit card, the ‘pain’ receptors in their brains didn’t activate. apparently, over the past 50 years, the American public has developed an internal physical mechanism that tells them that when they use a credit card, they’re not really ‘paying for’ an item.

but when people use cash to pay for an item, the ‘pain’ receptors in the brain light up like a Christmas tree. it can physically HURT to part ways with cash for an item. this mechanism, which dave uses in his lessons to encourage you to spend only cash, keeps you from spending cash on unnecessary items, and encourages you to shop around for good deals. in all honesty, at the beginning of the month, i was at a grocery store paying for my items with cash, and the total came up to about $60 and i literally started to sweat. not because i didn’t have enough money, cause i had plenty- it was the beginning of the month afterall! but i had just blown about 1/5 of my store budget in one grocery trip. time to plan things out! i was not a big fan of grocery shopping before, but now i really truly dread it.

the rest of the month went better, but like i said, i have about $5 left to my name. but i have to say i am really happy-ish with the way things went this month, and am hoping february is even better, especially since it is 3 days shorter than this month.



please end already january!


  1. Shannon says:

    Yeah, that first month on the cash-only thing can be a little rough. Bad idea to start on such a long month. 🙂 Just joking! Proud of you for making it the whole month. I too am looking forward to February so we can replenish all our envelopes and my dearly loved allowance. I actually ask myself now, "Do I really want to spend my cash on that? Usually the answer is NO. Except for pedicures. The answer is always yes then.

  2. Jenny says:

    You're so good!!! Great job sticking to the cash only system!! Thanks for spending some of your eating out money with me last week!! 🙂

  3. Lainey says:

    I think the "envelope" system would be far more appealing if it were the super-cute-animal-wallet system. You should pitch it to dave ramsey and he could add them to the box…and send you some royalties 🙂

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