Save $ By Spending only Dollar Bills
Julie Fast, a local mental health writer lost half of her income when the economy slowed. She knew it was time to make some big changes- so she did it in a little way- with dollar bills. Instead of going cash only, Julie went to dollar bills only and it has changed her life. Julie takes out dollar bills from her bank and then keeps the money with her mother. She then has to think daily of what she will spend. Julie says, “When you pay with dollar bills, you truly see the value of your money.” Her goal is to be out of debt by the end of 2010.
These are some of the ideas she shared with us in our AM Northwest Studio today:
- Eating out is a huge money drain. I have completely changed how I eat out. I take a specific amount of money with me including tip – and it’s about half of what I used to pay with a credit card. The first time I counted out $11 in ones for a chicken sandwich I ate in about ten minutes, I really changed. I won’t by myself a new book because it’s too expensive, but I’ll have a $20 meal? That’s crazy!
- Every penny you spend when you are in debt puts you further in debt. Period. There is no way to get out of debt if you keep spending beyond your means.
- Find your leaks: cable, cell phone, unneeded insurance, magazines, coffee. It may not seem like much by itself, but I literally found $560 in leaks when I started my plan. I now try to pay out of my online checking account or by check.
- Find out to the dollar what you owe every month in terms of rent, bills, credit payments etc. Everyone says this of course, but when you go cash only- literally cash only- you have to know exactly what you owe.
- Having a debit card or money in the bank doesn’t work for me. I have to keep it at my mom’s or I will spend it. It’s not about will power. It’s about breaking many years of poor spending choices. I have so many regrets.
- I’m upset with myself that I waited until a recession to make the changes. If I had done this a few years ago, I would be debt free. But, at least I started.
Tips from Julie
Many people will say they have done all of this and those of us who haven’t are behind the times. They are right- others were smarter than I have been. Paying cash only is nothing new- paying with dollar bills just takes it to a new level.
For more information about Julie Fast, visit her website.