There are a million and one blog posts out there that will tell you saving money is easy. They argue it’s easy because all you have to do is make the decision to save, use great tools to do so, and ultimately enjoy a better future.
While saving is easier than it ever has been thanks to technology like Budget Ease, the truth is that saving is still a challenge, mostly because (let’s be honest) spending money is way more fun than saving it.
So, each and every day, we all have to make financial decisions that will ultimately contribute to our future. Are we going to buy that latte? Are we going to increase our 401k contributions? Can we afford to send our kids to private school? Did we save at all last month?
These are the types of questions that should run through everyone’s minds, and the way we answer them can make the difference between spending too much or saving just the right amount.
So, in an effort to help you stay motivated and get excited about saving money, here are some tricks that I use to be successful with my financial goals:
If your wife has been begging you to take her to Hawaii, put a picture of it on your desktop! If you want a new pair of golf clubs, keep the picture right there on your phone, so every time you look down at it, you can make better decisions about where your money will go. Keeping your goals out and visible will help to remind you of why you suffer through short term disappointments to get to your bigger, better goals.
Have a Savings Buddy
It’s really hard to save all on your own, especially if you have friends that are constantly asking you to go out or accompany them on a shopping trip. My advice is to choose a friend in your office who also wants to save money. Have a frugal lunch together every day where you pack your lunch and sit together instead of joining everyone else as they go out to eat. Frugal lunches are a great way to save and stay motivated by talking to others who have the same goals as you.
A little bit of competition always makes things exciting, even if you are just competing against yourself. One of the things that I like to do is try to go on a spending freeze for a certain amount of time. You can even do a mini-freeze, like promise yourself you can go out to eat at a nice restaurant if you bring your lunch to work for two weeks straight. You can also give yourself $50 to spend at the mall if you go an entire month without buying a new piece of clothing. These types of mini challenges keep your savings goals at the forefront of your mind, all while helping you develop good habits along the way.
What are some other ways that you can stay motivated to meet and exceed your savings goals?- Catherine Alford