Today's tip is so easy in theory, but also so hard. I will admit I still have a hard time with it - swapping to a cash-only budget for the miscellaneous expenses.
The idea is that, to keep spending in check, you withdraw your budgeted amount of the month (week, etc.) and when it's gone, it's gone. I've read a lot of money saving blogs about the envelope system of budgeting, which takes this even further to budgeting for some expenses monthly, even though you may only pay it twice a year. That way instead of a $300 car insurance bill, it's really just $50 a month. Same money, just doesn't seem like the full "chunk" at once.
This year, I have committed to saving cash for Christmas. Last week when I went shopping, I knew I would be looking for some items and wanted a few things for myself, so I kept some cash out of my mileage checks when I deposited them.
I do have to say, this went very well for me! When I came across something, I really questioned whether it was worth it, knowing I only had X dollars to spend.
I don't know if hubby and I could ever swap over to a 100 percent cash budget. However, I am working very hard on doing this for the little extras, and contemplating doing the same for our groceries, to keep me from all the impulse shopping at the store!