Cash Curbs Spending: How I Spent Less Than $100 On a 5-Day Vacation

This past weekend was a long one. I split five days between both sides of my family in South Carolina and North Carolina. Before I left, I took out $200 from the ATM. That was it. That was the limit because (1) I didn’t want to spend much money, (2) I knew I would be eating at home with my family at no cost and (3) I just needed to keep my car gassed up. I came back home with half of that money. Woo hoo!

Here were the expenses for trip:

  • Gas — $61.41
  • Eating Out — $22.73
  • Earrings — $3.08 (I accidentally left my jewelry at home and felt naked.)
  • Entertainment — $8 (“Move On Up” movie)
  • GRAND TOTAL: $95.22

Carrying just cash is a great practice in self-control in regards to spending. I realized that doing the 21-Day Financial Fast at the beginning of the year. Spending those finite green pieces of papers and shiny coins makes you think carefully before you get to a register. You naturally want to keep as much as possible because it’s a finite resource. Using plastic — debit or credit — gives you the opposite feeling. People are willing to pay twice as much for items when they use cards instead of cash, I’ve read. What’s funny is that a recent study shows that the U.S. is becoming a cashless society, and some folks cited the fact that they are more likely to spend when they carry cash.

When I returned home, I decided to try to live on the remaining bucks in my pocket until Monday.  I’ve already bought gas and groceries, and plan to coast throughout the weekend. I like that my online back account balance has displayed the same figure for several days. I’m going to make this $200 stretch for a long as possible.

Short On Cash Infographic


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