I know folks that reign in their spending by only using cash. They find that if they have to use, they are less likely to buy stuff and it works really well for them.
For me, this isn’t really practical. I don’t generally carry enough cash for trips to Target, Harris Teeter, or Sam’s Club. I do carry enough cash for “EXTRAS” though. What are “extras”? Extras are those items you’d like but don’t need. Maybe you want to zip through the drive through for a quick lunch, or go to Starbucks for a coffee (I totally avoid this one by not driving coffee!), or grab a new CD, or well anything extra that you don’t really need. You know you have a lunch you can eat, a bottle of water to drink, a radio to listen to while driving down the road so yes these are all extras.
If I have to spend my cash for something that sounds nice, I always take an extra second to decide if I really want it. I did this today when the girls wanted lunch on the way home from the pediatrician’s office. I had the cash and decided it was worth my sanity to get them lunch on the way home. Yes, my sanity is worth using part of my cash allotment for the month!
So the next pay day that you have coming up, take a little cash out and trying using cash for your “extras”. Maybe it will work for you, maybe it won’t. You won’t know until to you try. If it does work for you, will quickly find some extra money in your budget because those extras add up quickly. Then you can really treat yourself to an awesome extra at some point!=)