So I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately that talk about ways to save money. I have read over and over again that I should create a budget for myself then create envelopes for each category of spending such as groceries, clothing, gasoline, etc. Financial experts recommend depositing budgeted money into these envelopes. That way once the money is gone there simply isn’t any more to spend.
Well I don’t like this line of thinking for one major reason: cash back credit cards. I currently use a credit card that provides 1-5% cash back depending on the purchases I make. If I start using cash instead of this credit card, I’ll miss out on the 1-5% savings. So I’ve been thinking of a clever way to get around this problem that would still allow me to create a grocery budget for myself. (If you read any of my other postings you’ll see that I spend way too much money in the grocery store.) I’ve been thinking of purchasing grocery store gift cards of $20 – $50 using my cash back credit card. That way I’ll still get cash back for the gift card purchase. I’ll use the gift card, much the same way the financial experts advise using cash. Once the gift card balance is gone I won’t be able to make any further purchases for the week. (Of course, this plan assumes I will pay off my credit card bill in full each month, which I always do.)
Overall I am a good saver. And for the most part I don’t spend money without quite a bit of deliberation. But the grocery store does seem to be my Achilles heel. I’m not positive that this solution will work, but I figure I have nothing to lose. The gift cards won’t expire or go unused because I’ll be purchasing them from the grocery store I frequent the most. I’ll post a follow up to this posting in the up-coming weeks.