If you've done any research on the best ways to trick yourself into not spending money, using cash is among the top few. Just stopping is the best, but for those of us who need mind tricks, magic and the occasional medication to curb spending, this is a big one.
When I was young mom would cash my dad's paychecks and put a certain amount of money in envelopes marked "grocery", "clothing", "shoes", "entertainment" and so on. When she was out of cash, that was it for the month until another check came along. At the time all I remember thinking was how dangerous it was to carry that much cash around. I've always safety conscious and it made me nervous that we might get car jacked because of my mom's money management skills.
My birthday horde of cash has reminded me of that because I spent two months carrying that cash everywhere I went, hording it and dreading the day it would run out.
A few years ago I tried a software program called Mvelopes which does pretty much the same thing my mom did with real envelopes. Although they would argue it is much better since you have a snapshot of spending and mugging is less likely. They want you to:
Take control of your money
Get out of debt
Reduce financial stress
That's funny because it is exactly what I want to do, but don't remember it helping much when I tried it before.