My walking partner, Crystal, and I were talking last night about the power of cash in a “less is more” budget.  It’s a lesson that Mark and I have learned the hard way, blowing budget after budget using our debit card and losing track of just how much we’re spending.

If you’ve never done the “cash only” thing, I challenge you to give it a try.  Here’s what we’ve learned about cash:

Cash limits.  Cash is finite.  It has an end.  It limits how much we spend because if you don’t have the cash for it, you don’t buy it.

Cash is freeing.  When we are committed to cash purchases, it helps keep us out of debt.  And having no credit card debt is freedom at it’s finest.

Cash matures us Seriously.  When you learn to wait for things until you have the cash to buy it, you build patience and practice delayed gratification.  These counter-intuitive actions build character which brings about maturity.

Cash increases communication in a marriage.  When we are budgeting out our dollars on a weekly basis, we are talking about money more.  This keeps money conversations more often proactive rather than reactive. 

Cash takes some extra effort on the front end, but when we take the time to manage our money with cash, we always stay true to our spending plan on the back end.

What about you?  What strategies have you found helpful in sticking to a budget or using cash?

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