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Personal Finances / Credit Cards and Consumer Debt

URL:  http://boards.fool.com/maybe-i-missed-it-but-i-dont-recall-you-saying-24775772.aspx

Subject:  Re: Debt Hell in Oct Date:  11/2/2006  5:01 PM
Author:  Jacksonhall Number:  240380 of 308858

Maybe I missed it, but I don't recall you saying what you have done with your credit cards. Are they still available for use? That's dangerous. I knew of one family that put their cards in a container full of water and froze them. That way they weren't available for impulse spending. It took planning ahead to get them thawed and have them with you at the store - and this allowed them time to reflect on what they were about to do. Just a bit of creative thinking to help overcome spending without planning.

Personally, for our household, the cash envelope system, though good in theory, doesn't work well especially at stores like WalMart or Target. My purchases contain expenses that should be charged to such a variety of expense accounts. But I never come home without a receipt and it gets laid in a special place just as the groceries etc get put in the pantry. EVERY evening all receipts get gone over to allocate the various expenses and input to whatever financial program you use. (Shouldn't take long if you keep it up to date a few minutes every evening.) In your case, that would be your job. Don't ask her what she spent the money on (she may feel like she's being grilled or she may not really remember all the details). If she can realize that saving the receipts is a way to avoid being asked all these questions, maybe that will help motivate her. (I don't buy a frostie w/o getting a receipt.)

'Cash' is not an expense. It is an asset just like your bank acct. When you spend cash, deducted it from your cash account and charge it to the proper expense acct.

Transfer however much is allocated to food, hs supplies, hair cuts, etc out of the bank once a week and put in a 'petty cash' box of her choosing. Then this discretionary spending should be done with cash. If you put the receipts and the left over cash back in the petty cash box, you can always tell if a receipt is missing - because the receipts plus the cash left should add up to what you put in. If there is a difference because a receipt is missing, deduct that amt out of cash (in your money program) and charge it to misc expense.

This takes a lot of personal discipline but the rewards are worth the price! You'll feel so much better when you finally take control of your money instead of your money (or lack of it) being in control of you.

I encourage you to keep plugging away at it!!


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