I use a product called MONEYCALENDAR to manage my money. You can check it out at www.mwatch.net . Anyways, Tony Coia, the proprietor over at Moneywatch who sells these things, suggested I use cash for weekly expenditures that tend to vary and are a bit of a pain to keep track of. With the Moneycalendar, you need to reconcile once a week in order for it to work for you. He is referring to expenditures such as groceries, eating out, entertainment, gasoline, and corner store expenditures. At first I balked, but I decided to try it. It worked very well and makes weekly reconciliation much easier. I withdraw a set amount once a week to cover the weekly expenses I just listed. If I don’t spend it all, so what, I got some extra. If I don’t have enough, I find out quickly, and I am prompted to adjust quickly. Bad habits don’t get out of hand and I am less likely to delude myself.
One of the downsides of using cash is that you miss out on the cash back deals that credit cards have. I use to cards that put 1-2% into 529 collegeboundfunds for my kids. I have put away several thousand dollars for them. I have also made the occasional mistake of sending my payment late and lost money from these cards. But I discovered that I can get my 1-2% back the old-fashioned way – through change. As long as I put away my change, including a few dollars every time I spend $100, I can still save money in this way.
I hope readers of this post will give Tony a call over at Moneywatch – 401-941-2020. He will spend 1 to 1 1/2 hours with you on the phone while you watch him using Webex, a remote internet system, keying in your data. Most people buy it once they see how it works and how it will more than pay for itself with in the added proficiency it allows you to have as you make money decisions. But you are not obligated at al. He says it improves things for about 90% of people who try it
I asked my wife to try it with me. She declined but recently agreed to give it a shot. We do our money seperate and reconcile once a month. It works but I think she will find that this will be better for us. We will both be on the same page, literally. If she doesn’t like it, she knows I will have no problem with her doing it the old way.
I hope Reena shares her impressions in the comment section.
Tony said that the program is totally logical. As humans, we are not logical. We make decisons by connecting dots, but the problem is that we can only keep a few dots in our head at one time. Finances are too complicated to rely on just a few dots at a time, but the Moneycalendar connects them all.
As a therapist, many people who present to me have money issues. Couples argue over the dots, and which ones to connect. I have referred a lot of people to Tony for help with these issues, and he has helped any who took the time to contact him. He has worked a lot with Butler Hospital too.