I've become a bit of a fan of the Zen Habits blog lately, and they've published a couple of posts over the past couple of days which both deal with the very practical notion of how to build good habits. Incremental change seems so hard - the results are often so gradual that it feels like you're not getting any payoff for your efforts. But this post offers some practical tips on how to establish and maintain habit changes - by making it harder to *not* change. The gist of it is that you need to increase the positive feedback you get from doing the new habit, and increase the negative feedback you get if you fall off the wagon.
They've also published a post for those trying to change their spending habits. I found this one offered a couple of good ideas about how to incrementally change your spending habits by reversing what they call the "hedonist treadmill" which sees your spending increase along with your income.
"Put even little expenses into reverse. I only saved a couple dollars by going to 7-11 instead of Starbucks, but I started creating a habit of working the treadmill in reverse. This kind of action will give you confidence in your ability to control your spending."