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Family Saves Money by Going Cash-Only For One Month

The Farhat family relied on nine credit cards, until Good Morning America challenged them to go credit card-free for one month in a test to find out if cash-only spending means spending less overall. They snipped eight of their nine cards to pieces and kept one card in their freezer in case of emergencies.

The family's 30-day challenge has come to an end, and the 24 percent savings they achieved compared to the month before is enough for them to consider permanently switching to cash. Because cash purchases require the forethought of visiting an ATM, the families' habits inevitably changed.

Marissa Farhat explained, "I don't have enough money in my purse to go buy this new dress or this new shirt that I want, so you don't even step foot in the store, because you don't have the money. You don't make all those extra purchases that you really don't need."


Join The Conversation
thelorax thelorax 8 years
There's nothing like a visual demonstration to cement an idea in a person's head. If you don't have the money, you can't spend it!! What a concept.
Da-Ly Da-Ly 8 years
Imcs, that's exactly what the hubby and I have been doing for the past 4 months. It's really easy once you get used to it. Plus, you find cheap entertainment. (ie. Library books, netflix) We're doing it sorta for the same reason you are too; gotta get a home, and also pay for the wedding. Good luck to you too :)
imcs imcs 8 years
my husband and i are actually giving ourselves a $100/each allowance starting next month, and anything we want will be paid with cash. If this works, I see us saving a lot of money, and hopefully being able to buy a home by the end of next year - wish us luck!!!! :-)
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
Yea I just NEVER go shopping anymore...stepping foot in malls = bad news!!!
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 8 years
Yes, this is in my opinion, the best method. Like she said, if you know you don't have the money in your wallet, you're not going to even step into the store. For me, I think "would I rather have this sweater today and know I'll have to scrimp on food for the rest of the week ..." - that kind of thinking really keeps me in check. The thing is, when I was constantly using my debit card for purchases in the grocery store, etc. I would be more likely to buy one or two things I DIDN'T need, like a pack of croissants or chocolate - just because I knew I had the money to do so. But if I've got only a certain amount of cash in my pocket, then I am wayy less likely to do that. Now when I look at my bank statements, I only see where I've withdrawn money once a week and any other direct debits going out ... no more panic of trying to recall what store is called ZEFL345 on the statement and trying to figure what the hell I bought at ZEFL345 for £24.99!
tweet-hotpants tweet-hotpants 8 years
good for them!
jspeed jspeed 8 years
I am thinking of trying this. Our credit card spending isn't out of control (we pay the balance every month), but I'd still like to be charging less and saving more.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
see - this justifies my hatred of credit cards. i don't use any, and i think that if i can't afford to pay it off now - then i shouldn't have something. i'm glad that there are shows and situations like this that motivate people to test themselves - cause you can see that it's not that hard to be aware of your spending.
gabiushka gabiushka 8 years
hah! Ground breaking!
Meike Meike 8 years
No brainer common sense.
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