Imagine if there were nothing but $1 bills and coins that existed. No credit card, debit cards, checks or higher denomination bills. When you filled up your tank of gas, you couldn’t stick your credit card into the machine or throw down two $20 bills to pay. You’d have to take out $40 in $1 bills and count them out.
If you did, you’d be forced to see directly how much money you were parting with each and every day. Taking a huge pile of $1 bills to make your mortgage payment would make a much bigger impact than writing a check or having the money taken directly out of your banking account.
Money is no longer physically held and parted with in each transaction we make. This makes it much easier to spend money today than it was before we became a credit card society. The $1 game brings back the helpful physical parting of money that makes money more “real” rather than a number on a credit card statement or on a check.
The game is easy to play. All you do is use only $1 bills and coins for all your purchases and payments. While it may not seem difficult, you’ll be surprised at the inconvenience (which will result in savings) you’ll encounter with this game.
Take all other forms of payment out of your purse or wallet and take a trip to your local bank to change all your higher denomination bills into $1 bills. This game is usually best played for a week or two to remind yourself on how easy it is to spend when you don’t have to hand over and count your money with every purchase.
The game has a number of effects (or combination of effects) depending on your personality, but each of them ultimately will save you money. Here are some of the reason given as to why using only $1 bills reduces spending:
1. Lack Of Convenience: Having to pull out a large wad full of dollar bills to pay for each transaction is troublesome. Since it isn’t an easy thing to do, people are much more likely to pass on impulse purchases and opt for only the items they truly need.
2. Seeing The Money: For many people, it’s much more difficult to part with money when it’s directly in front of you. To compound this, you have to count out each and every $1 that you’re going to spend. This keeps many from spending money on things that they otherwise would have if they had another means to pay.
3. Embarrassment: Some people are embarrassed to pay for items over a certain amount of money with only $1 bills. Their embarrassment keeps their spending in check and they save money.
By playing this game, you’ll find out a lot about your current spending habits. This is especially true for those who never seem to know where there money is going. The result will be a better understanding of where your money is going, what things you purchase that you don’t really need and new places you can save money.
This game is also an excellent way to teach kids about money. When giving allowances or money to purchase other things, get in the habit of handing out all the money to them in $1 bills from an early age. This will teach them to count and see exactly what it costs when purchasing items, laying a solid foundation of understanding that items and services cost money.