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When to use cash or credit is an intense debate among financial experts. The answer to this long-standing question is…it depends. There are many factors to consider when deciding to use cash or credit. If you’re looking to rein in your spending, using cash to cover unexpected expenses can help you stay on track. Here are 3 things that you should budget for with cash to help you stick to your budgeting and savings plan.

Special Occasions

A friend you haven’t seen in a while texts to let you know they’re in town. Sticking to your budget doesn’t have to mean passing up time with friends. Setting aside some cash at the start of each month can help you enjoy these special occasions without having to dip into your savings or rainy day fund.

Special occasions may also include concerts and sporting events. While you likely purchased tickets in advance, budgeting for on-site expenses like parking or transportation and concessions with cash can help you stay on track so you can enjoy the show.


Creating a holiday shopping budget for the final months of the year is a budgeting strategy all on its own. For the rest of the year, events like birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and showers can rack up costs when it comes to buying gifts. Waiting until the last moment to purchase a gift can leave you scrambling and overspending. If you know about an upcoming event in advance, budget for your gift with cash.

Sticking to a set budget can do more than help you save. You will likely find that you put more time and thought into choosing a gift and feel more satisfied once you make the purchase.

Anything You Don’t Want to Overspend On

There are many reasons to use a credit card for purchases, from racking up points and earning cash back to travel rewards and more. But if you find yourself regularly overspending and want to get back on track, give budgeting with cash a try. Budgeting with cash can help you visualize your spending more clearly and spot patterns in overspending. You can also monitor your spending with our Household Cash Flow Tracker.

Cash doesn’t have to mean carrying around a wad of bills and pocketful of change. Using your debit card for purchases can also help you monitor your spending because it works like cash.

At Union Savings Bank, you can easily monitor spending on your debit card with USB Online Banking and the USB Mobile app. Keeping your spending front and center is the first step toward regaining control of your finances and getting ahead.

For more tips to help you budget and save toward your goals, visit our FutureTrack blog.

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