Julie emailed in the following tip:
My husband has always been a cash user, and only uses other forms of payment when necessary. As for myself, I still have a debit card, but I try to use cash for most of my purchases.
Using cash has allowed us to implement a simple savings plan (my husband’s brilliant idea) that has helped us purchase a number of big ticket items in our household, including our computer, camera, and dining table.
What is this savings plan you ask? It’s simple… don’t spend your $5 bills.
I realize a five-dollar bill seems like a rather large bill to just stop using, but when you’re using the cash system, you may find that you don’t notice it as much. (Except for the occasional time you have to break a $20 and get three $5′s in return, and — oh yes! — it happens.) When this does happen, just close your eyes, put those $5 bills in your jar and move on. Before you know it, you’ll be able to purchase that item you’ve been waiting for!
If you just can’t force yourself to give up those $5 bills (or you’re in a financial position where every penny matters), start out with $1 bills or even quarters. Instead of spending them, stick them in a jar and save them. Before long, they will really start to add up!
For more money-saving tips, check out Julie’s blog, MeagerMom.com.