The first two weeks of my cash diet are officially over and quite a few of you have commented, tweeted, and emailed me to ask how it’s been going. For anyone who’s ever considered switching to cash, there’s really only one thing I can say: if you’re disciplined, it is amazing for your budget!
On Day 1, I was excited at the thought of what living on cash could do for my finances. But by Day 3, I was panicking. I had written a list of errands I had to do and calculated what each should cost me. I bought all my groceries, picked up some beer and dry cider, then headed to the pharmacy to get a month of birth control. For the last 6 months, my pills have cost me $9.51 per pack. At the counter, I pulled out a $10 bill, before the pharmacist could spit out, “that’ll be $27.13.”
$27.13!? I don’t have $27.13! Why is it $27.13? Um, it’s the beginning of a new year, dumb dumb. Time to pay your premiums again. And I did, in fact, have $40 cash in my wallet, so it was no problem paying for them. But, after doing all of my other errands (and treating myself to some alcohol), I only had $40 left for the next 4 days.
But then that hit me. $40 for 4 days is a lot of money! Especially when you injure yourself and can’t do anything. (Not that I was working towards that…) On Wednesday, when I could barely put any weight on my foot, I ordered pizza for dinner. Best $20 I spent that week. And I made it last me for 3 meals. With that, I finished my first week and had about $20 cash leftover.
Week 2 started by going for drinks with friends. (Yes, I hobbled downtown for a night out.) Then I grocery shopped on the weekend and have basically sat around ever since. Much less exciting than Week 1 but I’ve had homework, side work, etc. to do. In the end, out of my first $220 challenge, I had just over $20 left. It’s all gone now though, because I put it on my credit card debt this morning. That’s on top of the $215 I’ve already put on it this month!
Tomorrow, I get to pull out another $220 and start all over again. Unfortunately, even though I should have about $250 leftover to put towards my credit card debt, $100 or so of that needs to go to the CRA. And I’ll be able to start driving again in the next few days… but I do still have that gas card! So the second round of this cash diet should be pretty easy.