Curb Your Spending Appetite With an All-Cash Diet

A 23-year-old writer challenged herself to put away debit and credit cards and only pay in cash.
4:00 | 07/29/15

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Transcript for Curb Your Spending Appetite With an All-Cash Diet
No more debit card, no more credit cards. The only buy something if you have the cash to pay for it. We first read about it in "Business insider" and Rebecca Jarvis met the woman who tried it. ? No no no ? Reporter: Freezing your assets like in "Confessions of a shop holick" show us how some go to extremes to chill their spending. ? No no no ? Reporter: Also keeping her credit card at bay 23-year-old Kathleen Elkins. No plastic. Reporter: The business insider reporter challenging herself to a cash diet. Budgeting $125 a week for daily purchases outside of rent and utilities. About 21 bucks less than the typical budget of a single American. It's a great way to know how quickly your cash can leave your wallet. Reporter: She says her cash only diet has her to save $50 a month, $600 a year and with the average single American living on about $5,000 in credit card debt, she says this kind of savings can go a long way. But it can be hard to stay on track. I had to buy a wedding gift but those things come up so that's $60 -- it was really eye opening when three days in the week I'm out of money. Reporter: We kick off week three of the cash diet by her side. Groceries are at the top of her must haves. Milk for sure. There goes 5 bucks. I know. Let's see the receipt. How much did you spend? $9.38 for some eggs and milk. Kind of a lot. Tenth of your budget. Reporter: In just a few minutes. She says food eats up a sizable chunk of her weekly allowance. So she's really learning to be more conscious of what she needs versus wants. With a little dose of discipline. Clothing shopping. That was the toughest. I bought a pair and there were a lot of things I could have bought but it makes you think long and hard. Reporter: While cash is king for her she says she's keeping the plastic for big purchases to build up credit and reap in reward programs. Ready? Reporter: For "Good morning America," Rebecca Jarvis, ABC news, New York. Let's dig into this with workplace contributor Tory Johnson. How do you decide if it's right for you. Am I mindless swiper without thinking about it? So I think a selfie can help you. Every time for a week take a week, every time you swipe your credit card take a picture of it then you look at that over the course of a week and say, you know what, did I really need that third cup of coffee? Did I really need to take a taxi when I could have walkedy did I need to buy that extra t-shirt. So often we swipe because it's easy and convenient. If it turns out, okay, that's right so I need to try this, what do you do? I say, okay, I swiped a little too much. I'm going to try to go cash only. Figure out what the real budget if I eliminated all the excesses what is the real budget then you'll stash some cash so you're going to put the cash in a wallet. I love to use a wallet that has lots of different areas so portion control. When you see it all you eat it all. When you don't see it, you don't spend it. Put some in a shoe box if you have to and some in your desk drawer so you're disciplined for the week. You might have to decide there's a day where you're just not spending or a day you bring your lunch instead of buy it because it's simon to just live on this amount of cash. At the end of the week whatever is left and it's not going to be a lot goes into your splurge jar and at the end of the month this is it. Mine would be a lot smaller than this, right but you get to use this to decide -- For fun? What am I going to do for fun? You're not saying to get rid of credit cards. No, don't clip the plastic. Credit card, responsible credit card spending is a great way to track experiences, "Deals & steals" tomorrow, hello. Definitely not clipping credit cards but can help you with that mindless swiping when you just use cash. Great advice. Tory, thanks very much. Back to you. It all adds up. Thank you, guys.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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