Money ‘magic’ to curb spending

Editor's Note: This post on money ‘magic' is a bit of a departure from our usual fact-based personal finance advice but in the spirit of Halloween, contributor Sierra Black explores folklore and saving money, with a little spookiness thrown in.

The Evil Fruit

It's Halloween, the season of ghosts, ghouls, and witches! To celebrate, I thought I'd share a little money magic with you that really works. It's an old Southern folk magic spell called Money Stay With Me. This version is adapted from Cat Yronwood at Lucky Mojo, a hoodoo shop in California.

This magic spell is designed to keep money in your pocket, regardless of how much you have coming in. As GRS readers know, it's saving that makes you rich, not windfalls or high salaries (though those certainly don't hurt).

The Money-Stay-With-Me Spell

To work this spell you'll need a green candle, a lodestone (or a magnet), several coins, a piece of paper, and a safe place to keep your stuff while you're working your mojo. The traditional version also calls for special incenses and oils, which you can buy through Cat's site or make yourself if you're the DIY type. Or just leave the bells and smells out entirely; as you'll see, the real magic of the spell comes from your commitment to doing it.

To get started, set out four coins on the corner of a plate or tray. In the center, put a piece of paper with your name written several times in red ink. You can also include a prayer or psalm to help you focus, and a lock of hair or a photograph.

Carve the words “Money Stay With Me” on your candle. Light the candle. Say any prayers or affirmations you like to focus your intention: saving money.

Now go through your purse, your drawers and your secret stash and cough up any money you have. Put all the bills over $20 on the plate. At this point in the hoodoo spell, you'd write your name on the bills and anoint them with magical oils and powders. I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not to do that. If it speaks to you, and makes you more excited and committed to what you're doing, by all means break out the bells and smells.

But here's the really important part of this spell: Leave those $20 bills there, sitting under a magnet, for seven days. Every night, burn a little more of your green candle and add any new cash that's come into your life to the stack.

At the end of the week, you can spend the twenties at the bottom of the stack. If you want. You may also decide to pop 'em in your savings account.

Continue this spell for at least one week, but keep doing it as long as you like.

Why This Works

Astute readers will already have figured out the “magic” behind this spell. It's not the incense or hoodoo incantations — though those can be powerful triggers for some people. It works because it compels you to keep your hands off your money for seven days.

Anyone who uses a 30-day list is familiar with the principle behind this very practical spell: Choosing to wait before spending money on something often results in not spending the money at all.

Related >> How to track your spending (and why you should)

Most money spells aren't worth the paper they're printed on. This one actually helped me make the switch from a spending mindset to a saving one, because of it's practical aspect. Underneath the ritual, it's another simple mental hack for saving money.

Whether you keep your $20 bills under a lodestone dusted with magic potions or in a cookie jar you only let yourself open on Sundays, having a mental rule that keeps a lid on your spending will help you curb impulse buying and save more cash.

The important part is to make it a rule you believe in, something the childish, inner self will get on board with. Keeping my cash on a hoodoo altar tickles my playful side — the same side that tends to impulsively spend money.

You might find yourself rolling your eyes at the idea of a money spell. That's okay. Find a mind game that works for you: putting your money in a piggy bank like the one you had when you were a kid, or in a dedicated savings account you only look at once a week, or a locked safe-deposit box. Do whatever works for you, whatever convinces your inner self that you're serious about not spending this money.

I used to get a lot more benefit out of this practice when I ran a largely cash-based business. I'd get paid in stacks of $20 bills several times a week. Keeping them shut away for seven days kept me from impulsively spending as soon as I had the cash, and then being sad at the end of the week when my budget didn't balance.

Now, most of my income comes in a few large checks each month, and those go straight to the bank. My little money mojo altar sits empty a lot of the time. But I need it less now. I've learned how to convince money to stay with me, with or without my magic magnet.

Happy Halloween! Have fun with tricks and treats — and any magic that comes your way.

Photo by orangeacid.

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Nicole
Nicole
9 years ago

Very cute!

Derek
Derek
9 years ago

Yeah, I think I would prefer the piggy bank over the voodoo, but your point has been made. This idea ties in with the saying, “If you want to make a big purchase, make sure to sleep on it.” If something is still important to you the next day, then you can be more certain that it’s a good purchase. For this same reason, sometimes when I go to the mall, I leave my wallet in the car! If I see something that I really want, I’m going to have to walk out of the mall, grab my wallet, and… Read more »

Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas
Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas
9 years ago

Fun article! I like it : ).

retirebyforty
retirebyforty
9 years ago

That’s a bunch of hooey! :b hahahh..
That’s a great way to save some cash. I do have an allowance envelope, but maybe I should try the load stone thing.
Using cash to pay for every day things really makes a big difference in psychology as well, it cuts down excess expenditure.

Maegan
Maegan
9 years ago

We save close to a thousand dollars every year by implementing one rule. We never pay with coins. We always pay with paper money. The change goes into the bucket. At the end of the year we roll up the change and put it in a savings account.

Although, we have used it in emergencies. Like when I needed my wisdom teeth removed. We were able to pay the $2,000 all from our quarters nickels and dimes. We never missed a cent of the money because we never pay attention to our coins.

bon
bon
9 years ago

Did you just leak Christine O’Donnell’s budget policy?

(sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

The Skeptical Housewife
The Skeptical Housewife
9 years ago

LOL at bon!

Cute article. 😉

Mors Spargris
Mors Spargris
9 years ago

Like the thought of saving before buying!
I myself have a fictive “Saving Piggy”, containing a bankaccount, an indexfond account and an account for buying stocks. All those savings are for forfilling my dreams (travels, books, recreation, new things for my house…) and for having money in the bank,for future secure.
And the saving is always at least, or more than, 10% of the income, that goes into the “Saving Piggy” every month.
Thank you for nice reading on your get-rich-sight.

David/moneycrashers
David/moneycrashers
9 years ago

I usually employ a “cooling off” period before making any major purchase.

I’d say more than half of the time this results in me not buying the item at all

Squirrelers
Squirrelers
9 years ago

That’s a creative approach:) Interesting article.

For me, it’s a matter of thinking about opportunity costs (why spend $40 on this shirt, when I could spend $30 for another, and keep $10 for retirement). This gets me to save money, and avoid unneccessary expenses.

zach
zach
9 years ago

I’ve recently been thinking about, every time I want to make a stupid purchase, burning a dollar bill.

you read that right. Burn a dollar bill.

Because after all, isn’t that what I’d be doing with all my $4 coffee +bagel habits?

Landon
Landon
9 years ago

Cool article! Games are great ways to save money… I would know because I came up with my own game called The Ebenezer Method! All of life is a game anyway… 🙂

Jaime
Jaime
9 years ago

wow this is even more ridiculous than your new article on affirmations, GRS should stop publishing these types of articles.

Ruby Clarke
Ruby Clarke
7 years ago

Very interesting article. Thanks for this information!

Conrad Fast
Conrad Fast
7 years ago

Thanks for clarification an like the philosophy: “To wait before spending cash on something often results in not spending the money”.

Chris M
Chris M
4 years ago

We save some money by home cooking everything and making in really larger batches that we can freeze. We invested in a chest freezer too. When we shop, we know not to buy on impulse (we make at home right? No need for this or that) and we tend to plan our menus based on sales… if “x” is on sale, then our menu is going to involve “x” rather heavily. Obviously we are in better control of our nutrition which may also have long term advantages in terms of health care costs etc…

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