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Perks of Using a Cash Allowance

In a world full of credit cards and virtual spending, the habit of using cold hard cash is on the decline. But, for those struggling with credit card debt management, cash is king. Even so, if you’re  not so sure about ditching your card, here are some perks of using cash allowance that may win you, and your budget, over.

You're less likely to get into credit card debt with a cash allowance.

You’re less likely to get into credit card debt with a cash allowance.

Perks of Using a Cash Allowance

Spending Awareness

Divvying up your monthly budget into cash envelopes is the ultimate way to be aware of your spending. And, to ensure that you don’t accidentally go over-budget. When you use a credit or debit card, charging hundreds of dollars to your card can be really easy. The process is designed to be quick and convenient, so it’s not surprising that overspending can happen mindlessly, and in a matter of minutes.

Think about it; Charging $100 to your credit card seems easier for some reason than actually forking over a hard earned $100 bill to a cashier. Maybe it’s because cash is tangible and you can literally see it disappear. Or, maybe using credit cards promotes the “I’ll worry about it later” attitude. There’s no blame in using either method; credit works perfectly for a lot of people. But, if you feel like you’re drowning in debt, giving a cash allowance a chance can really change the way you spend money.

Low Monthly Credit Charges

Every adult’s dream is to look at their credit card statement and see a zero balance. Right? While we can’t promise that using a cash allowance will completely wipe your credit card slate clean, it can do a lot to prevent future charges. With a cash allowance, you can focus on paying off existing credit card debt without accruing new money to pay off at the end of the month. With any luck, you’ll like the switch to cash so much that you’ll use credit sparingly in the future.


Everyone is held accountable for their actions. It may take time, but eventually everyone reaps what they sow. And I believe that people actually enjoy being held accountable for themselves. My thought is, why not practice accountability in the moment rather than wait for it to catch up to us down the road? Cash allows us to do just that. Setting a cash allowance is all about accountability. If you go shopping and only have $40 in cash set aside for entertainment, then stick to it! Using credit cards as a substitute for money that you know is not in your budget won’t affect you in that very moment, but it will when you receive your monthly statement. What’s better than knowing you held yourself accountable to something and stayed on track towards a goal? Not much.

Peace of Mind

Especially for those who need help with debts, cash offers the peace of mind that credit cards often can’t. When using cash, there’s no worrying if you can afford something. If you have budgeted properly, and have the allotted money in your hand (or cash envelope), then go for it! There’s no worrying if your card will be declined, or an astronomical credit card bill at the end of the month.

Whether you decide a cash allowance is for you or not, the most important takeaway is to set a budget and stick to it. Just take a minute to weigh your options the next time someone asks you “cash or card?”.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.


Madison is a Marketing Communications & Programs Associate at ACCC. She is excited to share her tips on saving money and being financially responsible here on the Talking Cents blog!

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