The way we use our cash budget has changed over the years. A number of months ago, we changed the amount of money that I get in cash each month at the bank. It will stay this way until, if and when, prices go up and we feel we need to make a change. We are buying more and more organic meat and other organic products. As our supply of meat and pantry items dwindle, we may need to up the budget because of these items but so far I have not had to.
For anyone who is new or doesn’t know, we feed just Hubby and I annually. My son and grandson come almost every Sunday for breakfast and sometimes lunch. Sometimes, they come along with my daughter in law for dinner. My grandchildren visit and stay here sometimes. Then occasionally, our other son, my daughter in law, and granddaughter come and stay for a few days especially for holidays. Our extended family come and stay sometimes. We also have friends over for dinner occasionally.
My budget encompasses all of our food eaten at home, food eaten at restaurants or take out, cleaning and paper products, personal care items, and gasoline.
Personal care encompasses OTC cold medicines, cough drops, sinus medicine, pain medicines, makeup, shampoos, deodorants, body washes, bar soap, hand soap liquid, lotions, shave cream and razor refills, toothpaste, toothbrush heads for our electric toothbrushes, and floss, etc. It does not include prescription medications.
I use a lot of all purpose cleaning products, dryer balls instead of dryer sheets, my laundry egg instead of detergent, vinegar for both cleaning and as a rinse aid in my dishwasher. But I also need dishwasher detergent, dish liquid, and garbage bags. One way I save on some of these things is to buy in bulk which brings the price down for those products.
I also pay for my hair salon monthly appointments which cost anywhere from $ 42. to $ 140. including tips depending on what I am getting done. That covers haircuts and shampoos, hair coloring, highlights, and waxing my eyebrows.
Also included is a tank of gasoline every month which is usually the amount we use. Gasoline for trips do not come out of my budget. I keep my gasoline purchases low by earning points at a local supermarket that give me money off of gasoline. If gas is cheaper elsewhere even taking into account the points, I will buy it there. That only happens infrequently at Speedway and our cash station. But every time I need gasoline, I always check whose price is better.
The monthly amount that I get each month is $ 500. to cover all of these budget items. I use coupons when I can. I also use Saving Star, Fetch, Ibotta, and Checkout 51. Any rebates get added back into my cash budget whether I receive them in cash or gift cards to Walmart. Any bottle or can deposits that I return for Hubby’s soda or my sparkling water that I get once or twice a year from Amazon gets added back into this cash budget. My monthly budgeted amount that is left over at the end of the month just gets rolled to the next month and added to the next month’s cash of $ 500. That way I build a balance over time to make large purchases when I see rock bottom prices.
With the exception of Hubby’s haircuts and incidental items he picks up at Home Depot, etc. with his cash(no one wants to charge a nut and bolt here and there), all other expenditures are paid for with our checking account or charge cards which we pay in full every month when they are received.
Do any of you use cash for certain items each month? Please share with everyone in the comments.