While perusing the blog, Divine and Debt Free, I was presented with the 'Go Green Challenge'. The Challenge is to ONLY use cash (hence the green) for the month of June. Not only have I accepted the challenge, but I've also gotten a friend to participate as well.
As a result of participating in the challenge, I've spent the last couple days making sure I've accounted for every necessary purchase I will need money for during the month of June. Once I made my list, I withdrew $400 from the ATM. I actually only needed $390, but the ATM only does transactions in denominations of 20. The cash will account for the following purchases:
* $60 for groceries for the month ($20 each week, but I already shopped for this first week).
* $60 for hair care needs for the month
* $75 for gas for the car for the month ($25 each week, but I already filled up for this week).
* $15 for my monthly manicure
* $160 for my frivolous spending/entertainment plan for the month ($40 a week spending divided into $20 for the work week [Sunday-Thursday] and $20 for weekend entertainment[Friday and Saturday]).
* $20 for miscellaneous spending, initially. But since I had to withdraw $400 ($10 more than needed) from the ATM, I guess the amount for miscellaneous spending has increased to $30.
So, there you have it--my cash spending allowance for the month. I don't anticipate a problem or experiencing any withdrawal symptoms, LOL. I stopped using my debit card for purchases once I implemented my $140 a month spending/entertainment plan.
A funny story, though...when I initially approached my friend about joining me in the challenge...she thought about it, then agreed. I told her the rules, and since she is a person who swipes her debit card mindlessly, I also told her some of the things she should account for, in advance, by getting the exact dollar amount from the ATM. She agreed. A few minutes later she came to me in a near panic saying, "But, how will I pay for my gas for the car during the month?!" I think it is absolutely HYSTERICAL how convenience-dependant our society has become. Even if she had forgotten to account for the cost of gas, there was a time--before debit cards--when people actually walked INTO a bank and (shocker) actually withdrew money from the teller.
I had to reassure her that she would NOT be destitute without her debit card because if she had forgotten to account for any NECESSARY purchase, she could either withdraw money from inside the bank or (shocker, again) write a check. The purpose of the 'Go Green' challenge is not to leave us stuck in a bad situation if we forget to account for a necessary purchase, but to stop us from swiping our debit cards mindlessly and think about each purchase.
I don't anticipate a problem...my friend on the other hand...well, let's just say we may need to keep the morphine handy because she is a junkie and will, most definitely, experience some withdrawals, LOL.
The Challenge begins tomorrow...wish us luck! I'll update you on my and my friend's progress periodically, but like I stated earlier, I don't anticipate a problem.