Contributed by Ray T.

I have a hard time staying on budget and wind up spending more than I plan. It is so easy to whip out my debit card for a $3 latte or a $7 sandwich; after all, I get points back on my card.  Just one thing, when I would look at my statement, I was way over budget.  I had to figure out a way to stop.  Thinking it would be a cinch, I did it the only way I could think of; I went cold turkey—I decided to go cash only!

Well I underestimated how hard it would be as I spent a lot.

I went about my Monday as normal and bought my sandwich, my latte and some chips.  I did the same on Tuesday. By Wednesday, when I looked in my wallet, I was shocked at how little I had left plus I still had to go grocery shopping, to dinner with my friends, buy a Metro-card and buy my lunch.

I had to do an overhaul.

The first thing I admitted was I was spending a lot of money on a daily basis—just on meals. So I started planning my meals for the week including my lunches and, when eating out with friends, I check out Yelp to find cheaper spots. Next I began keeping track of what I spent and I now I keep my eyes open for deals—something I never used to do.

While I have become more careful with my money, I do not watch my money like a hawk and pinch every penny.  For example, I still buy my lattes as my coffee making skills are terrible.

The change is now that I have use cash, each time I open my wallet, I can see exactly how much money I have left to spend or save.

Do you have any money saving tips you would like to share?