Today’s theme for Parent’s University is finances.  Kat wrote a very helpful post about what her family does to help in this area.  Ditto to all that she says!

I don’t really have much to add to her advice.  My husband and I live an extremely simple life.  We do not have any debt from college or otherwise.  We don’t buy a lot because we don’t need a lot.  That’s not to say we don’t want a lot.  It’s a simple matter of keeping our hearts content and saving up for things that we would like to purchase. 

The first year we were married, we set some financial goals along with a time frame for each goal.  It’s amazing what you can do when you actually set goals.  I remember one of our goals was to save money for a vacation specifically for our five year anniversary.  When it came time to go to St. Lucia, we had the cash to pay for it all.

Which brings me to this:  cash.

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Other than our mortgage and other utility bills which we pay online, we mainly use cash for everything.  We used to do the whole envelope thing where we had a different cash envelope for different categories.  One for groceries, one for dining out, one for our individual allowances, etc.  But this got to be a pain.  So now we just have one envelope for the entire month.  We tried once to use our credit card for all of our purchases, but it was too easy for me to overspend and go over our budget.  With cash, that’s not an option.  When the cash runs out, we don’t buy anything else.  Plain and simple.  

“But what happens if you run out of cash and you don’t have any food left?” 

In the seven years of doing this, that has never happened.  That last week of the month, we may only have $25 left in the envelope and that pretty much determines what we eat that week.  There have been times where we have eaten rice and beans for the last three days of the month, but I’ll tell you what, it keeps me disciplined when I shop at the grocery store.   This system may not be for everyone, but it has helped us stay within our means and faithful in our finances.

Click here to see what everyone else said about family finances.

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