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. When you have bills coming in, the motivation to pay them is already there: you want to pay your bills because they’re due and you don’t want to miss a payment.
However, when you’re saving money for another reason (whether it be for a specific goal or for the future in general), it’s often tougher to focus. There is no one telling you that you have to save, you’ll just need to do it on your own. That can be quite difficult.
Here are some tips that can help you stay motivated to save money.
Write Down Your Goals
If you’re saving for a particular purpose, it helps to write down your goals. This gives you a greater focus and helps you concentrate on what you’re working towards. The act of physically writing down a goal (rather than just keeping it in your head) helps you remember it as well.
It’s a good idea to put a list of your goals in a spot where you look frequently, such as your closet door, beside your car in your garage, or in your wallet. Doing so will ensure that you’ll be reminded of your goals often and that will help motivate you to stick to them.
You might even want to give yourself a visual reminder of what you’re working toward. For example, if you’re saving for a vacation, you might want to hang a photo of your dream vacation spot in a place where you’ll see it regularly. This also works if you’re saving for a new car or any other major purchase.
Use Visual Aids
In addition to writing down your goals, use something tangible to inspire you. For example, you may want to put a chart on your wall that indicates how much you’ve saved so far and complete this chart as you get closer to your goal. Another option is to dedicate yourself to saving a certain amount each day and then putting checkmarks on a physical calendar for each day you hit your target. These actions are a great way to keep your goal in your mind at all times and motivate you to keep going.
Give Yourself Rewards
When you achieve your financial goals, give yourself a small reward. This can be a very helpful way to stay focused. Breaking down large goals into smaller steps and rewarding yourself for reaching these milestones can be a great way to stay motivated.
For example, if you want to save $10,000 for a dream vacation, it can be tough to stay on target since it will probably take you quite a while to save this amount. In this situation, commit to saving a certain amount each month (such as $500) and then give yourself a reward if you achieve your goal. You may want to reward yourself a special treat from your favourite bakery or a fancy drink from a local coffee shop, for instance.
Tell Someone Your Goal
A good way to stay motivated is to tell your goals to someone you trust. This way, you’ll have someone to hold you accountable for your goals and encourage you to keep going when you need it the most.
Set it up so that money automatically goes from your chequing account to your savings account once a month or every time you get paid (whatever works easier for you). This way, the saving happens automatically without you having to do anything. Since you won’t see the money in your chequing account, you won’t miss it and you’ll be able to save without doing anything.
Don’t Get Down
Everyone makes mistakes or loses focus sometimes. If you miss a savings target or lose focus on your goal, don’t get too down on yourself. Many people have a tendency to give up if they make a mistake. Don’t let this happen. If you fall behind on your savings, take some time to figure out what went wrong, then recommit to your goal. Knowing that you’re actively taking steps to revise your spending and align your budget with your goals will keep you feeling positive and motivated.