We have an envelope, in an undisclosed location, where we keep cash. It is not an emergency fund or our monthly adult cash allowance and there isn’t a lot of cash in the envelope. Yet it is a place where we can go to if we need a quick $10-$20 for a last minute pizza dinner or the neighbor kids are knocking with Girl Scout cookies, or the pick your own strawberry patch or a yard sale outing, the list goes on and on… The money in the envelope comes from our yard sales, rebates, Christmas gift money or other sources of “found” money.
The envelope comes in handy and I feel less stressed knowing that we have a little bit of cash tucked away. I try not to carry a lot of cash around with me in my wallet because I spend it too freely when it is there.
There is a little more structure with a petty cash fund as it pertains to businesses. Even though I treat our family finances much like a small business, I am not going to add more work to my day by making sure we itemize what we use the petty cash fund for. It is money for our family and no questions are asked.
How do you manage last minute purchases? Do you have a petty cash fund?