Experiments

The “Paying Cash” Experience – 2 Months Later

by Debt Destroyer on November 25, 2008

Some of you may remember that at the end of August I decided that starting in September, I would start paying cash for certain items (groceries, household stuff, & entertainment). Obviously I hoped that this would lead to major savings.  Dave Ramsey professes that paying in cash will save around 12% or even more!  I was shooting for savings of around $100 per month. I have to admit that it was a little weird paying for stuff using cash after so many years of putting everything on plastic.  Especially at the grocery store where the bill can easily be over […]

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The Ingredient Experiment – Save Money And Eat Better

by The Happy Rock on September 1, 2008

On the heels of Debt Defier’s commitment to attempt a cash only month I have a food related experiment that I am doing for September.   Hopefully, the Debt Defier has better luck with cash only spending than I did. I will be attempting to buy only ingredients for the whole month of September.   I know that might sound a little vague, but here is the idea…buy only items that are naturally occurring and can be used to make meals.   The goal is to cut out things like crackers, chips, expensive veggie burgers, and ice cream to increase my intake of […]

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That’s right, the whole Happy Rock Garden is going vegetarian for the rest of January. I mentioned that I am not fond of resolutions, so here is an example of one way to spark change without resolutions. Experiment! I will track being vegetarian for the month and the associated costs. Updates when appropriate. I got the idea from Steve Pavlina’s 30 day raw food experiment. Even though his experiment is quite off the beaten path, I am finding his raw food chronicles extremely interesting. Like most things in life there is a path that has gotten me to the point […]

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Cash Only Spending Experiment Analysis

by The Happy Rock on January 9, 2008

Time to clean house. I have been carrying this dirty laundry around, since August. In July I started an all cash experiment to test the Dave Ramsey argument that you can save 12-18% just by spending cash. View the cash only experiment details here and the benefits of spending cash here. Some readers have asked me for the results of the experiment while back, but I admit I have none to offer. It took a few months, but I am finally willing to admit that the experiment was a failure. I apologize. We didn’t fail to complete the actual experiment. […]

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Top 5 Reasons The New Year’s Resolutions Fail

by The Happy Rock on January 7, 2008

Like clockwork New Year’s comes and everyone fantasizes about some habit they want to kick or a good behavior they want to start. I was on the resolution train for years, only to realize I was lucky to make it to February. I am here to offer some reasons why New Year’s resolutions aren’t lasting recipe for change. Resolutions are so common place that everyone feels like they need to do them. They get created out of habit rather than conviction, motivation, or passion. Even if the desire is there, the planning and preparation are often half hearted or non […]

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Recovering From The Microsoft Money Server Upgrade

by The Happy Rock on August 10, 2007

I cleared a hurdle I had been putting off for about three weeks now; I spent about two hours tonight bringing my Microsoft Money records back up to date. It was two hours I didn’t have, but two hours that were sorely needed. In mid July Microsoft decided that their Money servers need a complete overhaul. Since that time I haven’t been able to download my transactions for my ING Electric Orange checking, savings, or my one credit card. With the July Cash Spending Experiment in full swing, I wasn’t too worried about it since my normal way of operating […]

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What bloggers are saying about canceling cable and TV.

by The Happy Rock on July 18, 2007

Yesterday I posted some eye opening statistics about TV viewing. Today I wanted to wrap up the canceling cable experiment by searching the blogosphere for some bloggers that had already tried giving up cable or had relevant posts. Here is what I found : Gary Lee just recently canceled cable and is still adjusting. Boomie @ The Wastrel Show downgraded to basic cable just a week ago. Lazy Man tried to hack a cable free solution. Clever Dude talks about not upgraging his viewing experience. FMF @ Free Money Finance admits he doesn’t have cable. And finally Trent @ The […]

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10 days into the July Cash Experiment and we have seen our share of speed bumps. First was forgetting that Sunday the 1st was actually July. I hadn’t withdrawn any cash to start the month. My preparation wasn’t there and I resorted to the debit card to avoid a 2.00 ATM fee at Target. Probably not the best choice for the experiment’s sake, since dealing with fees is something that must be balanced when using cash. The next speed bump was with paying tolls. I have EZ-Pass, an electronic toll collection system, so I haven’t paid cash in years. The […]

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Benefits And Drawbacks Of Spending Cash

by The Happy Rock on June 29, 2007

In honor of the upcoming cash spending experiment I wanted address the benefits and drawbacks of spending cash. I will revisit this list after the cash experiment to see if I have anything to add or critique. Benefits of Spending Cash First and foremost, spending cash makes it impossible to spend more than you have. Going into debt is impossible with cash. Forces us to face the consequences of a purchase up front rather then delaying it until after it is too late. Thinking through the consequences of a purchase may change your decision. By consequences, I am talking about […]

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Save Yourself 18%? Cash Only Spending Experiment

by The Happy Rock on June 27, 2007

With June drawing to a close, I wanted to lay out the plan for the cash only spending experiment in July. I talked about the impetus for the experiment in the ditch the credit card and save post. Using the scientific method here is the break down of the experiment : Goal : Test whether spending only cash will save 12-18% as Dave Ramsey suggests. Hypothesis : Spending only cash will reduce the amount of money consumed in a given month. Control : Currently the plan is to compare the cash only spending to the average of the previous 2 […]

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