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My wife and I also use debit cards for just about everything over $10 and many things under $10. Our banks cards do have fraud protection.

The way I've gotten around the problem you describe is as follows: If I get a bill and I can (or must) pay it before the next paycheck comes in, I pay it right away via my bank's billpayer service. That way the money is deducted both in reality and in my head right away, and I know how much there is left. If I can't pay it off right away, I schedule it to be paid (again, from billpayer) the same day the paycheck gets direct deposited into the account. Same result.

If you're really juggling things, though, it just may be that cash is the way to go.

Good luck.
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