Different people have different ways of managing their money. Some people like working through what they spend in dollars and cents. That’s workable and viable. “If I spend less on dinner tonight I can have a more expensive lunch tomorrow.” For these folks, each dime saved is rewarding.
Other folks work better with general parameters. I’ve seen this in my own family. I know what we spend on an average dinner out with the whole family. So instead of watching every dollar spent when we’re eating out, we keep track of how many times we eat out each month and everyone knows the basic rules of what we get. For instance, we can share a few appetizers or all get dessert, but not both. That’s comfortable for the kids (rather than having to ask what entrees on the menu they can get and what they can’t) and keeps the budget in line.
Dining out is a specific example of part of the budget that can be tackled through different perspectives. It can work with just about every aspect of spending. Instead of buying every book you read, buy ones that you’ve read through the library and want to keep. Or have a Book Co-op. Form a group where each member buys one book a month. Everyone gets a week with each book, then pass it on.
Approach spending management in a way that makes sense for you and the others that share your income.