We have about $300 weekly to spend on food, gas and all other incidentals. We are also a debit card user. I don’t like the bother of having to get cash to pay for things and using cash makes tracking where my money goes much more difficult. I called my bank and they said I can set up a 2nd checking account. I’m thinking that I should have 1 checking account for the monthly bills, direct deposits, no debit access and then I have the other checking account with debit access where I put the $300 a week. The problem is I’ve always ‘borrowed’ from savings if there is not enough money in my current 1 checking account.
What happens if it’s the end of the week and I need to buy milk or gasoline and I’ve used my $300? How do I not buy milk for my toddlers because I don’t have money when I actually have money but it’s just in savings? Sometimes it works out that some weeks we’re going to spend more than $300 and some weeks we’re going to spend less? Maybe after a couple of weeks you’d have a cushion that you could use for those heavy weeks or I’d be more regular about shopping and getting gas? Sometimes I put these purchases on the credit card. I always pay off our credit card but I might take from savings. I automatically put money from my paycheck directly into savings so somehow things seem to work out. The savings seem to grow slowly even though I am regularly dipping into the savings.
We are not in debt yet but our total monthly expenses equal our bills and my husband is on full commission. It could be a major problem if his income should ever go down. He’s a mortgage broker and the economy is certainly slowing so it’s not unrealistic to expect things to be a little more difficult for him. Fortunately, my husband has some ventures which pay us a quarterly income which helps cover the tight times.
Take 200 from savings and use it to be your cushion in your grocery, etc. account; if you have more than 200 left at the end of each quarter, transfer the overage back to savings.
And, yes, I think 2 accounts would be good since you are so good about tracking and separating the items.