In November 2007, our family began our Total Money Makeover journey. The very first thing we learned was to pay for everything in cash.
This was, of course, a new way of thinking. After all, we had our debit card, which was “essentially” cash, right? Well, after much praying and hard work, we have stopped using credit, rarely use our debit card and now believe that Cash is King!
We had the chance to put this mantra to the absolute test. We wondered if paying with cash would help us not end up with a case of buyer’s remorse, as we had felt so many times in years past when making purchases.
One Saturday morning in July, 2008, we awoke to learn our television had been struck by lightning the night before. Now, we could have run out and purchased a new one on a credit card — if we owned a credit card, that is! We didn’t, so we marched down the steps to our basement and carried up a replacement television — a 14-year-old, 25″ tube TV.
We then finished working our way out of debt. Afterwards, we began to save for that new HDTV.
How We Saved
We had budgeted a dollar amount for our groceries each pay period. At the end of that two weeks, we would take the money left over and put into our TV fund. Using coupons and working deals usually meant at least 30% went into savings.
We had a garage sale and added our proceeds to our stash. Imagine our surprise when, in less than six months, we had reached our goal of having enough cash to purchase not only our television, but also a new TV stand!
Then came the fun part — going shopping! We knew exactly which television and stand we wanted. We selected both our TV and stand and were armed and ready ask for a reduced price.
We asked the salesman what they could do since we were paying in cash and he said he’d have to check with his manager. Imagine our surprise when he walked up and offered us what we were hoping for — a 5% discount for paying with cash.
What We Learned
With great pride, we handed over our cash. It felt so good. We felt empowered, like we had done something that few had done before.
Sure, it would have been simple enough to just write a check or put the purchase on a credit card (and pay it off right away) but, I had never in my adult life made a purchase of this magnitude with cold, hard cash.
We now know that it is possible to purchase anything with cash. Dedication, hard work and the desire to remain debt free have kept us on track. And our mantra rings true – CASH IS KING!
Tracie has helped her family eradicate over $37,000 in debt in 27 months. She shares her money saving tips, coupons and deals daily at Penny Pinchin’ Mom. She and her husband live in Missouri with their 3 children, ages 22 months – 5 years.
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