Go on a Money Diet

     As I try to be more responsible in my adulting, I find myself coming up with, or simply employing things I have heard, into my saving routine.  This one here is one I’ve previously used to ramp myself up to something nonessential that I may find myself wanting to throw cash at a ways down the road.  This is not a quick-and-fast savings scheme.  That said, don’t expect to necessarily get rich off of this.

I call it The Money Diet.

     I know that sounds like a silly-ass name, but it is simply what I came up with to call it when I first tried it about 3 years ago.
It is really a simple thing to do in theory, once you work yourself up to it psychologically.  That last part though… 

     When you leave your house in the morning, things you should expect to have to spend money on should be paid for with cash.  When you are going to make this purchase, you basically plan not to pay exact change – especially for your first expenditure of the day – and know that you will be breaking a bill ($1/$5/$10/$20…).  When presented with your change, the $5/$10 bills go in one place and singles and change go another.

Wait, what?  WHY?!!?

Thank you for asking!
Because, when you get home, you have a jar or a coffee can or a box or some other vessel to place the singles and change in.  You take them out of your pocket and put them in the jar whenever you walk back in the house or at the end of your day if you just can’t let yourself do that.

But why in the great blue hell would I do THAT?!

Again, I thank you for asking.
See, if you go into a purchase knowing that you’re going to lose short-term use of some of your money, you tend to think long and hard before making that purchase, don’t you?  Secondly, we’re all adults here and spending money is inevitable for our day-to-day lives.  You literally HAVE to spend money to live.

     Okay, so now you’re putting away your ones and coins immediately upon return to the house, what do you do with it and when?
Mimi and I have been doing this for 6 weeks now and we discussed last week what the overall goal was for the money and when would make a move on it.  The last time I did this alone, I did it for 3.5 months and amassed $261 in singles alone, so I went to the strip club took my daughter to Nike and we bought shoes.  We decided that with two people throwing into that jar that I will not post a picture of, we will do this until the jar is full/overfull, then we will cash it in and go away for a weekend or buy ourselves something REALLY nice.

     The beauty of this approach is that it removes money from your normal circulation that you have already committed to not spending and therefore kind of budget around anyway.  That said, you’re not missing it like you might with a more aggressive approach to saving.  The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow in spending the money on something you will like as a reward for all your hard work makes it even MORE worth it.  And bear in mind, back to my original point, you thought long and hard about breaking that motherfucking twenty knowing that $3 out of it was coming out of your pocket not to be seen anytime soon again and therefore you refrained from spending a TON of those $20s.
That last sentence is the “adult” side of why this works.  Not only are you slowly building a cache of “fun” cash, you should have also held on to the real money out of reluctance to have to put so much of it away.

     Perhaps you would like to employ this long-term.  Maybe you want to make a hefty purchase and you can set that out a year or 18 months.  Maybe you can do it indefinitely and buy a used car for a few grand when yours finally goes on to glory.  Maybe you have a kid who will eventually need braces or some such thing down the line.
And it’s FUN!  I mean, it isn’t like savings accounts are exactly paying shit these days, so those “keep the change” ones that rounds every purchase up to the next dollar and put them in your savings account aren’t nearly as fun as this is.

     Try it when you can talk yourself into it sometime.


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