Saving money is a practice that most people have, at one time or another, taken part in. Saving is crucial, whether you are trying to achieve financial responsibility and financial freedom or just planning a lavish vacation. Many people find, though, that saving money can be particularly difficult. A key factor in success when it comes to cutting back and pinching pennies is your motivation. Here are some tricks and tips for staying focused and motivated to save money.
When you’re saving toward a particular goal, it can help to put a visual representation of that goal in a place you’re frequently looking. If you’re saving for vacation, put a picture of your desired destination on the fridge or on your computer desktop. If you’re saving up for a consumer product, such as a set of golf clubs or a car, make a picture of that product the background of your cellphone. A frequent glimpse of your goal serves as a visual reminder as to why you are making these sacrifices: to reach your bigger, better goal.
On the other hand, if your goal is financial freedom and stability, images that represent that could include your dream home and dream car as well as free time activities you enjoy doing. You could also illustrate your goal of a certain amount of money in your savings account or a certain investment you’d like to make, along with your progress. Creating a visual representation of your savings can be cathartic, helping you handle the stress of saving.
Don’t Do It Alone
Find someone — a friend, family member or coworker — who is also looking to save money. Saving money on your own is tough, but sharing the struggle with someone else can ease the burden. What’s more, a “savings friend” is one you can go on shopping trips with, making frugal shopping easier. The same concept can be applied to meals, too. If you’re with another person who is also saving, you can make responsible decisions that won’t break the bank.
Make Intermittent Goals and Challenges
Starting slow and making intermittent goals for yourself can help get the ball rolling when you’re initiating your self-designed money-saving program. Not only will the challenge of meeting a series of small goals make your efforts to save more exciting, but a small treat that doesn’t break the bank after you meet your goal is a nice reward. For example, you can treat yourself to one drink and a nice meal with friends on a weekend if you bring your lunch to work for two weeks straight. The savings from two weeks worth of saving will outweigh the cost of one nice meal.
While you are striving toward your savings goal, remember, there will be setbacks. Don’t be too hard on yourself — it can be counterproductive! Life happens; just accept it and keep moving toward your goals.