Since I began working to the current day, I have earned a little over $50,000 (hey, I'm only 25). Until 6 months ago, know what I had to show for it? Absolutely nothing except the bills in my mailbox. Car payment, rent, school loans, minor medical bills, overdrawn accounts. Sound familiar? When I was in college, I worked two jobs to stay afloat. When I left college, I found another job to stay afloat. And then another job. And then another. During all this work, I was barely making it. I went from making $7.25 an hour to $10.50 an hour. Yet, I was still living paycheck to paycheck. How? I was making so much more money, but couldn't get above the water. A few months ago, I began speaking to a family friend. You see, I was recently engaged. I wanted to have some perspective on handling my future husband's and my expenses. He suggested carrying cash. He told me to figure out how much I made a day on average, after taxes and all. He told me that carrying and using cash would let me literally FEEL my money walking away from me. When I discovered I was making about $60 a night, blowing $30 felt terrible. That's four hours of work I just spent on a large popcorn and a boring movie! I watched it leave my hands, knowing I would never get it back. It's easy to swipe a card. It's difficult to watch someone take YOUR money. In four months I was able to save up $650. (Woo-hoo!) At one point our car broke down and we needed to spend about half of it, but the big deal is that we had the money to do it completely worry-free. The only other advice I would give is to ALWAYS keep your wallet close. My fiancé and I accidentally lost it on a date night we had budgeted out. We lost nearly $200. Not every system is perfect, but this one is working wonders for us. See your hard earned money as a real thing, and not just a bunch of numbers.