Tips for Motivating Yourself to Save Money
Managing your money and sticking to a budget can be tough. One of the most difficult aspects of money management can be saving money regularly. When you have bills coming in, the motivation to pay them is already there: you want to pay your bills because they are due, and you do not want to miss a payment.
However, when you are trying to save money (Whether it be for a specific goal such as a trip or for something long-range such as your retirement planning), it is often tougher to focus. There is no one forcing you to salt away money regularly other than yourself. That can be quite difficult to stay on track with.
With the goal of regularly putting aside money for savings, here are some tips that may help you to stay motivated:
Jot Down Your Goals
This is a big one and the easiest to achieve. If you are saving for a particular purpose, it helps if you write down your goals. Writing something down gives you a greater focus and can help you concentrate on what you are working towards. The act of physically jotting down a goal (rather than just keeping it in your head) can also help you remember it.
It is a clever idea to put a list of your goals in a spot where you are likely to see them often, such as right beside your computer monitor, on your bathroom mirror or in your wallet. Doing so will ensure you will be reminded of your goals seeing them right in from of you will help motivate you to follow them. If you own a smartphone, tablet, or a laptop, use their built-in reminder or task apps to create a goal list. You can even designate a deadline date and priority level for each task. I have created a “Financial Goals” reminder list on my phone which I review regularly. The act of checking off a task as completed is a great feeling of accomplishment.
Access Visual Aids
In addition to writing down your goals, you may wish to also use something tangible to inspire you. For example, you may want to put a chart on your wall indicating how much money you have managed to save so far and fill in this chart with a colorful marker as you get closer to reaching your goal.
Another plan is to dedicate yourself to saving a certain amount of money each day, each week or each month and then putting checkmarks on the calendar when you hit your target. These actions are a fantastic way to always keep your goal in your mind and motivate you to keep moving towards financial freedom.
Give Yourself Small Rewards
When you achieve one of your financial goals, reward yourself. This can be an extremely helpful way to stay focused. Breaking down large goals into smaller steps and rewarding yourself for reaching each milestone can be a terrific way to stay motivated.
For example, if you want to save $10,000 for your dream vacation (did anyone say “Tahiti”?), it can be tough to stay on target since it will take you quite a while to save up the amount you will need. But committing to saving a certain portion each month (for example, $500) and then giving yourself a small reward if you achieve your goal could be far more realistic. Small rewards could be things such as a special treat from your favorite bakery or a fancy drink from a local coffee shop.
Tell Someone About Your Goal
Another clever way to stay motivated is to sit down with someone you trust (such as a close family member or friend) and tell them about your financial goal. This way, you will have someone who can hold you accountable for your goals and encourage you to keep pursuing your goals when you need that encouragement the most. Ask this person to remind you every few months about your goal to check up on your progress. This can help if you get off-track and need a reminder to motivate you.
Automate Your Savings!
Today, in our world of online and smartphone-managed bank accounts, it is super easy to automate your savings goals. You can configure your account so that money automatically goes from your chequing account to your savings account once a month (or every time you get paid!). This way, the saving process happens automatically without your constant involvement.
Some financial experts recommend transferring 10% of your pay into a savings account, others suggest a specific amount (such as $50 or $100 per month). Since you will not see the money leaving your chequing account, you will not miss it and you will be able to save effortlessly. I am always delighted when I check my savings account and see how my automatic savings plan is working out – the money grows quickly when things become automated!
Do Not Lose Hope Or Focus
Everyone makes mistakes or loses focus sometimes. If you miss a savings target or temporarily lose focus of your goal, do not get too down about it. Many people tend to throw up their hands and then give up if they make a mistake. Do not let this happen. If you fall behind on your savings goals, take some time to figure out what went wrong, then recommit to your goal. This may also require another look at your spending and your actual budget to see where things went awry. A quick fix can often be made to get you back on track!
Knowing that you are actively taking steps to revise your spending and align your budget with your goals will keep you feeling positive and motivated.
But if you feel you can no longer get a grip on your spending goals and are finding your debt load is also getting out of control, the professionals at Farber are here to help you. Our Licensed Insolvency Trustees can advise you on all your options and recommend some solutions for your financial pressures. Just CLICK BELOW ON THE FREE CONSULTATION BUTTON, or give us a call, to arrange a free, no-obligation meeting today. We are here to help!