Credit and debit cards can lure you into spending frenzy that can spiral out of control before you know it. Have you ever come to the end of the month and asked, "Where did all the money go?" The convenience of plastic has made it far too easy to make purchases that we might not make if we had to dip into our wallet and make a cash purchase. _ Studies have shown that spending increases as the means to pay for an item becomes easier. In other words credit cards have made buying transactions easier, so we're more likely to buy stuff without concern, until the bill comes at the end of the month! Likewise, new 'pay with a wave' credit cards will make it easier still and foster even more poor spending habits.
I'm a big believer in the notion that cash is king when it comes to paying for items. If you don't have the cash, you can't afford the item and shouldn't buy it. Traditional means of budgeting to help curb spending is the Cash Envelope system. But there are clearly some disadvantages of that. There's also a 21st century version of the Cash Envelope system called Virtual Envelopes. We'll explore how you can implement a Virtual Envelope system using your budgeting worksheets.