In a world where debit cards and credit cards are so easily availabe and regularly used it's easy to spend your hard earned money on junk.
The past two months I have been taking my paycheck (I only get paid once a month, so that takes some budgeting as it is) and I sort of pigeon hole my money. I have money for tithe, car insurance, phone bill, ect. I deduct those monies off the top and pay off my credit card (which I use for monthly reaccuring bills- good way to earn credit without going overboard.) I then get a certain ammount of money in cold, hard, cash. This money is to be used for groceries, gas, entertainment, gifts, ect. Anything that isn't a monthly reaccuring payment is paid for with cash. If I do buy something online I take the cash equivilant and put it in the bank to be deducted from my debit card. No freebies here. I have to make that ammount last the entire month. If I use it up before my next paycheck, it's gone. Of course, if I really need to put gas in my car I will use my debit card, but as far as fun things go my money is out.
I use the remainder of my money and put it into savings for emergency, car insurance, or, as has been the case for a while now, my upcomiong Ireland trip.
I've found that by actually being able to see and feel the money I am less prone to buy junk I don't need/won't use/poor quality/whim buys becuase I have to physically handle the money. It's not just a magical transaction that happens with the swipe of a card.
Paying with cash has been working for me!