Un-freaking believable. Does this guy not realize he is just hitting up the ATM a little more often and converting his money into loose change? **How about he just set up a weekly transfer of $50 from his checking to his savings/investment account?**

Read the article again. He does. He has automatic transfers to savings already saved up. He is already saving. He just tried this as an extra side experiment.

(assuming whole dollars in this next bit, and using $10 bills so that all change is in $1 and $5)

To get to $57, the minimum he would need to spend is $13. Buying six $1 items with $10 bills gives $54 in ones and fives. To get to exactly $57, one more purchase of $7 is needed. So $13.

To get to $63, the minimum needed to be spent is $7. Seven $1 purchases giving $63 in ones and fives.

More than likely, that is not what is happening here. He likely bought groceries or other high priced items. But just because he saved over $50 with this method does not mean he spent more than $50. As with most issues dealing with money, this number is meaningless with out seeing what he actually spent that week.

This savings method does actually work as a habit building technique. It shouldn't be used alone, but it makes the person consciously decide to not spend money. It also makes them feel guilty if they spend it. As a starting point, it is an excellent experiment to run.

Not everyone grew up frugal. For those that didn't, they have to learn how to change their habits. Going cold turkey doesn't last long.

This is how my previously spendy roommate started learning to save. She did this three years ago. After realizing she could find the will power to save if she made it a game, she started saving more and more. She paid for her wedding in cash this year. Is this method how she did it? No. But it taught her how to make what used to be a boring subject fun for her.

If she had just "bought crap she didn't need", she would have been forcing it on herself and would likely break it like a diet. Most people can't just flip a switch and start saving. Automatic savings do not last long with spenders. But games go over well with a majority of people. By playing a game, it takes the scary money stigma away.