I would be interested to hear how others with small kids manage/d without a card

The kids make it different stakes. And we all don’t live in the same places weather/security crime wise so no one can judge you for keeping the debit card to safe guard your family. I agree with your reasons for security and safety.

So now the only real problem is to figure out a way to really use the debit card in only that manner–maybe buy gas cards to use at the pump with your gas budget money at the beginning of the month. Then keep the debit card wrapped up and in the wheel compartment of the vehicle.
Having the debit card in your wallet while shopping is making you not work so hard to make the purchases equal your cash on hand as you feel, well I will just throw the overage on the debit card. So it isn’t serving you well as you aren’t learning to shop within the budgeted amount.

We live in a part of the country that temps routinely fall way below zero and a person can freeze to death. Paying at the pump is a nice convenience during times like that. Having a cell phone is reassuring if the car breaks down and we have/soon to be had our roadside service in the cell phone contract. I am going to try go a few months at least without a cell phone but I don’t know if I will do it long term.

OK that being said I finally got my husband to shred his debit card a couple months ago. It has been going fine for him to take cash. He recently went on a 5 day business trip to Hungary and took $350 in hungarian money for the trip. Normally he just uses the ATM there and that avoids conversion rates and exchange issues. One of the guys from his work had just returned from Hungary and had messed up his math (an extra zero) when taking money out of the ATM machine and had an excess. He was really bummed as back home here the bank wanted to charge him a hefty conversion fee to change the money.

I didn’t like him carrying all his money. He could have lost it and been in a pickle overseas. It worked out ok though. His room and ticket was prepaid by the company travel account.

It’s like my SEARS card. Sure I am keeping it for an appliance issue that we have no savings for currently (we need a fridge, sump pump, water heater, stove…if one were to go kaput-been there done that-it would tip our lives upside down. But when I use the Sears card in a couple of dry days before payday at KMart for stuff or buy a baby shower gift I have to question if I can keep it. But that being said I still haven’t shredded it.

I want to. I am scared I will be left in a pickle. I did rationalize that if I am paying the bill in full it’s not much different then using cash. I did pay almost double what I normally would for a shower gift…which is good as I tend to be a bit sparing at times.
Not stingy. Just not extravagant. I paid $32 for the gift but this is their 4th pregnancy and the only one that made it to month 7 as all others miscarried so it called for a something nicer then $15-20 IMHO.

I haven’t even gotten any Christmas gifts this year yet. I figured I will get mall cards for the boys and let them shop the after Christmas sales to get the good deals and have even more then.

Anyhow, I am sure we will all be happier with the budget process in January.

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