I once encountered a suggestion (from a magazine, I think) that offered the following strategy to encourage household saving: Whenever buying something, only use $5 bills or higher. Then every night, empty your wallet/purse of any singles into a jar. By the end of a month, you will be shocked at how much you have saved.
Now when evaluating this proposal, the first thing I did was exaggerate it. I thought, “Why stop at a $5 bill? Why not always break $100 for every purchase?” Clearly that wouldn’t be a source of new savings–you would have to keep draining your saving account to replenish your stack of $100 bills.
So for those of you who were arguing with me in this thread, my question is: Do you agree the strategy is a good “first move” in this context? Again, it doesn’t prove that the technique with $5 bills is wrong, but it very quickly isolates the tradeoffs involved. And in particular, if you were arguing with someone who saw no downside in the $5 approach, surely the $100 example would be quite useful, right?