This one actually changed my life, but I didn’t want to sound too grandiose in the title.

light bulb

Last week, I signed up for two, short, make-over courses. They were both free. (Although they led up to an advertisement for the paid version, of course.) One was from Jon Acuff and one was from Michael Hyatt. I just had a yearning to jump start 2015 with some clear goals, some better strategy, some “you-can-be-a-better-you” cheerleading. And, it worked.

But, while I was redefining my life, I thought about the one thing we changed a few years ago that really was revolutionary. It clarified goals. It eased stress. It opened up communication. It brought peace. It renewed intimacy.

And here it is, just for you, Dear Reader: Drum roll…

Use cash.

That’s it. We gave up writing checks or using debit cards for daily purchases. We still use our checking account for things like car insurance, but everything else comes out of our stash of the green stuff.

We started out using the envelope system made famous by Dave Ramsey. Eventually, though, we pretty much knew what we were spending. These days, we just divide up a set amount of cash from every pay check and each cover the things we are responsible for. (I buy groceries. He covers dog food.)

When the cash is gone. Guess what we do? Stop spending!

I’m telling you, this system has revolutionized our lives. We have completely different spending habits. One of us is a miser. The other one, not so much. I didn’t know how much stress that caused between us until it was gone. Now, the budget actually works. We are both secure in our little financial worlds. And there aren’t any bank statements lying between us in bed. (figuratively speaking).

You should try it this year. It might change your life, too.