Because I am trying to save money before leaving for Chicago (a week from today) and taking a cross country road trip next month, I tried something last weekend: I did my best to not spend *any* money. I wasn’t 100 percent successful, but I definitely saved more than I would have if I hadn’t been making a conscious effort not to shell out some cash.
Last Saturday I bought Starbucks with a gift card (it was also “happy hour,” for half-price frappuccinos) and spent $8 in quarters doing laundry. I also caved and bought a decidedly NOT half-priced iced mocha at Caribou the next day, but all in all, I did alright.
This weekend, I can’t tell myself not to spend at all, because I have plans that require cash: breakfast with Eileen, farmers’ market visit, an acquaintance’s short film premiere and the LOST series finale at Studio 35. However, I have some control over these situations and the LOST premiere is free — although I fully intend to order food there to support Studio 35. I decided to get $50 in cash out of the ATM tonight and refuse to spend any more than that amount. I have a fridge full of food (minus some fresh veggies I intend to get at the farmers’ market) and a tank full of gas. I should be good to go, in theory. Bonus: Cash is a little harder for me to spend, like I understand it is for a lot of people; you’re physically handing over something instead of swiping an almost invisible number onto a thin piece of plastic someone then hands right back to you.
What are some of your money saving strategies? Do you ever try to trick yourself by making a game out of not spending? Or is that just me…