The Apron System—Digitized

Key Takeaways

  • In the old days, smart workers trained themselves to save money for essentials by socking it away in an apron hanging behind the front door. Today we use technology.
  • While smartphone apps can be addictive and overstimulating, they can also help you curb your impulse spending habits and work toward important savings goals.
  • I recommend this insightful article: 6 Apps That Help You Stick to Your Goals.

Do you remember the “apron system” that people used in the past to help them save money? It went out of fashion in the 1970s, but it worked pretty well. After cashing in their paychecks at the bank, factory workers would put cash in an apron that hung on the back of a door as soon as they got home. The apron also held their electric bill, phone bill, Christmas club statement, etc., to remind them about what they needed to save for. That way, when it came time to pay each bill, they knew they’d have enough money to do so.

Putting money in the apron was an example of what psychologists would call an internal trigger—people would see the apron as soon as they got home with money in their pocket, and it reminded them to save some of it. It was a really ingenious system that taught people great savings habits. Unfortunately, nobody is using the apron system anymore, but we can use modern technology to help tap into our internal spending triggers. In today’s electronic era, we have smartphone apps to serve as triggers. They can help you whenever you are bored, lost or lonely—or when you just feel like spending money.

The B-Word

Today I want to talk about the big, bad B-word: budget. A budget is often called a “spending plan,” because we all have wants, and I don’t know anybody who doesn’t want to cut back on expenses somewhere. Young people want to save more money for later on in life. Older folks don’t want to outlive their money. We all need help with saving and spending, even if we’re talking about just $100 per month. Some of these great new apps can help.

I recently read 6 Apps That Help You Stick to Your Goals on I didn’t check out the apps completely, but based on my preview, they looked pretty good. Put an app on your phone, and when you feel that need to spend, turn the app on to help you stay on track. Your goal could be one less latte a week from Starbucks, or maybe you eat at a restaurant one less day a week. The app could help with any other spending habit that you’d really like to change. Apps get criticized for being addictive and causing us to have a short attention span, but we can use these smartphone apps to our advantage when it comes to changing money habits.

It’s just something for you to think about as we get closer to the new year.

So until next time enjoy.

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