Even in the strictest budgets, most of us have a certain amount of money we set aside each month for things like eating out, impulse buys, and other casual spending. To make it more of a challenge (and possibly fun), carry that amount around in cash.
$20 picture from Shutterstock
Personal finance blog Three Thrifty Guys points out that having some cash in your pocket gives you a tangible connection to your money. You can see it, you can touch it, and if your goal is to make it last, you have to physically give it away whenever you spend it. This turns your spending (or lack thereof) into a game:
To curb my spending on discretionary items, I will take out a $20 bill at the beginning of every month from the ATM and see if I can make it last til the end of the month (or try not even spend it all - which has never happened). This is fun to do and really challenges your desires. "Do I really need this?"
This trick may work better for some than others, depending on your habits and personal spending idiosyncrasies. However, there's something to be said for carrying around cash. Check out Three Thrifty Guys' post for more ways to gamify your savings habits.
5 Ways to Save More by Gamifying Your Finances [Three Thrifty Guys]