Spending Only What You Have in Your Pocket for Miscellaneous Items

On the first of October – I am going to make a once-a-month trip to my bank’s ATM and withdraw $20. And, over the next 30 days – I hope to only spend what I have in my pocket on miscellaneous items that might include fast-food, a snack at work, or even a movie at the dollar theater down the road with the Miss. Basically all that little stuff you hate to whip out the debit card for (or can’t).

I don’t expect that $20 is all I’ll spend however. See, along the way, I’ll probably pick up a few dollars from a friend who owes me his share from paying for the restaurant bill with a credit card.. or from winning a small bet on the golf course.. or – you name it. 



This all started a couple months ago when I went a month or so without going to the ATM to withdraw petty cash. I was just living off what I had in my pocket. I’m not a big cash carrier to begin with – but it’s nice to have a few dollars in tow for smaller items where a credit card is inconvenient.

So,  I challenged myself to make what I had in my wallet – stretch. What I found was that the challenge to make the money in my wallet last kept me from spending it on miscellaneous junk that I otherwise didn’t need!

For me – it’s beginning to get too easy to just slide the card through the payment system and not “feel” anything. Do you know what I mean? With cash however – you feel the spend.

With my wife out of work – we need to make every dollar count. Since I’ve always enjoyed trying to challenge myself – this “spend-only-what-you-have-in-your-wallet” task has been a real motivator to save and live out my thrifty ways.

I think I may even just use what’s been collecting in the coin jar for October. Now that’s living dangerously huh?

Am I the only one who professes to such off-the-wall self-challenges? What types of things do you do to stretch your dollar and entertain yourself at the same time? I’d love to hear em.

You might also be interested in:

3 comments

  1. Lisa Smith says:

    You still must enjoy yourself. If you must have fast food The All American combo at Jack in the Box is only $5. It is a great deal. You just have to do the best you can.

    • Aaron says:

      @Sean – Yeah I don’t think the principal of it is uncommon at all
      @Lisa – Right! Though I think I have more fun with the challenge of trying to stretch it! :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *