Every so often I play a little game where I see how long I can go without spending any money. It usually lasts for only a few days, but it’s amazing how easy it is do without the small purchases in life when it becomes a competition. I'll leave it to others to stimulate the economy with their spending.
I should point out that I have an advantage over many people in this game because my wife makes almost all of the grocery purchases. What usually trips me up is having to buy gas for my car.
I don’t really keep track of my results, but going for a week without spending a single penny is not unusual for me. I suspect that some of my more frugal friends can go this long without even realizing it, but not so for my more spendthrift friends.
Some people average two stops for drive-through coffee and doughnuts each day. They also buy pop and chocolate bars from vending machines regularly. They seem addicted to spending money in small amounts frequently.
I’d love to learn more about the psychology of people’s spending habits on small purchases. The best source of such information is likely the research groups doing work for companies on the money receiving end of these small purchases.