If saving money isn’t your strong suit, don’t worry. Changing your money habits will have its challenges, but with a little effort, you can stop making so many unnecessary purchases and start building a sizable savings.
The first step is to think about your goals and priorities. Why do you want to save money? You might be looking for the security of an emergency fund, hoping to spend less time working, or preparing to buy a new car.
Whether your savings journey is just starting out or you’re already a saver and want to keep it that way, these 12 tips will help keep you from backsliding into poor money habits.
1. Remember why saving is important to you.
Think about why you want to save money, and take every opportunity to remind yourself. Talk about it out loud, or write it down.
2. Hold yourself accountable.
Budgets, spreadsheets, and shopping lists are enough to put the average consumer to sleep, but don’t be afraid to give this strategy a try. People who are already in the habit of jotting down notes or lists will likely be successful making strict shopping lists and sticking to them.
Once you make a reasonable budget, don’t stray from it. Check it over every once in a while and try to eliminate or reduce any expenses.
3. When you get a raise, don’t increase your spending.
After you get a raise it might seem natural to spend a little more. The problem is that a more expensive lifestyle could jeopardize your saving behavior. Think of a pay raise as an effortless way to speed up your savings.
4. Create a vision board.
It’s easier to reach a financial goal if you can see yourself accomplishing it. One way is to create a financial vision board. Cut out pictures of the financial goals you desire to reach and put them in a photo collage together.
5. Separate needs from wants.
You may fall out of the money saving mindset when you spend money on wants instead of needs. The two can be easily confused, especially if you really want something – you might become so invested in it that you convince yourself that it is a need and not a want. Prevent this by taking your time with purchasing decisions.
6. Learn why you spend.
It will be easier to save when you get to the bottom of why you spend. Do you buy a lot of clothes because you want to impress someone? Are you always spending money on eating out because you don’t set aside time to cook? If you’re more focused on impressing others or you haven’t established financial discipline, it is time to start figuring out these bad habits.
7. Address lingering money problems.
If you want to stay in the money saving mindset, you need to take care of any destructive money issues. Maybe you’re not used to having a lot of money, so you tend to save your money and then find an excuse to spend it. Consider consulting with a financial therapist or joining a financial support group.
8. Ask for Help.
No matter how hard it gets to save money, stay committed. If you find it hard to continue saving money, ask a friend or family member to help you stick to your goal. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
9. Make a game out of saving money.
Saving money doesn’t have to be a chore. Make a game out of it, so you can stay motivated. Invite your friends to join and try the 52-Week Money Challenge, which requires you to save a certain amount of money each week during the year.
10. Track your progress.
Don’t get too comfortable after reaching a big savings milestone. Once you’ve saved a certain amount of money, it’s easy to fall back into your old habits. Continue to keep an eye on how you are doing with your goals.
11. Keep educating yourself.
Continue to learn as much as you can about how to manage your finances. If you want to be a money success, it’s important for you to keep feeding on new financial information every day. The more you learn about money and how it works, the more you will commit to making savings a priority.
12. Celebrate successes.
Keep moving forward by giving yourself a pat on the back when you reach a goal. Every time you reach a savings milestone, celebrate – but don’t celebrate so much that you get yourself back into debt.
Article Source: Sheiresa Ngo for cheatsheet.com