So often, we promise ourselves that we are going to save money but we end up not doing it for a host of different reasons. This isn’t shocking given how tough it can be to save money at times. I know this first hand because I too have struggled to save money at times but I have also found ways to overcome this challenge which is why I want to share with you 5 mental tricks I used to start saving more money! Let’s begin!
Trick #1: Get A Savings Coach
The first trick I used to start saving more money was getting a saving coach. Having a coach is important because they can help you grow every facet of your finances. A coach is also an accountability partner that forces you to save more money even when you don’t feel like saving money.
A money coach is someone you can learn from in an effort to avoid certain financial mistakes. For instance, they can help you create a personalized budget or help you understand ways in which you’re wasting money. A coach can also help you find more ways to make money but more importantly, a coach also serves as an accountability partner. They can help you achieve your financial goals faster and that is why you need one.
Just like in football, a coach is not the one playing on the field but they help players play at their ultimate potential. They see the player’s flaws and they know what they should do best to improve. Even when the players feel like they don’t need training, a coach forces them to train. This is exactly how having a money coach works. Sometimes when you don’t want to save money, a coach may remind you of your goals and motivate you.
To get the best from a coach, there are a few particular things you must do. Your relationship with your coach is important. You must be transparent if you want to achieve your desired result. Tell them about your financial goals and the plan that you already have to achieve them. You should also tell your coach about your bad money habits so that you can both find a way to work on them. Coaches are your friend and you should treat them like one. Always ask questions when you don’t understand what they are saying. And the last thing you should do for your coach is to be coachable. You must be willing to learn before a coach can help. Remember, their job is to advise you while yours is to follow the advice.
Another question that people ask is whether they need a coach. You may not need a coach but if you find it hard to manage your finances and save money, or you want someone to be accountable to, then you should hire a coach. The best way to choose a coach is to ask your friends who already have a coach for a referral. You can also search online to see if you will find a coach that meets your requirement. A good coach should be someone who understands you and is experienced and passionate to see you grow.
Trick #2: Saving In Moderation
Another mental trick that I used to save more money was saving in moderation. You may not achieve your goal by saving more money than you should. Without good financial planning, you may likely put yourself under unnecessary pressure just because you want to save money.
Saving money involves sacrifice. However, you should not sacrifice too much because it may make life to become unbearable for you. You must estimate how much you need every month for your basic needs and make sure you set apart some money for that before you save. The goal of saving money is to make your life comfortable but without saving in moderation, your life may become miserable.
A good way to save more money is by using the 50/30/20 rule. That is, you use 50% of your income on your needs, 30% on your wants while the remaining 20% goes for savings. This rule is effective if you want to save more money but you should know that the percentage is not fixed and you can adjust it to meet your needs. You can set up your budget as 35/35/30 meaning that 35% would go for both your needs and wants while you save the remaining 30%. Just make sure that you estimate how much you need and create a rule that works for you.
One common sign to know you are saving too much money than you should is when the quality of your life is affected. For example, you may start passing up every social interaction that could cost you money or you are putting off repairs that need to be dealt with. This is not good for your mental or physical health and you may end up using the money you saved to treat yourself. You should create a reward system that will improve the quality of your life. This is also an excellent mental trick that makes it easy for you to save more money.
Another way to know you are not saving in moderation is when you incur debt to cover your expenses. If you have to depend on credit to purchase your basic needs, it is a sign that you are saving more than you should. This obviously impacts your finances because you would then start paying interest which may be at a higher rate than what you’re saving at. You have to find a balance between how much to save and how much is available to spend. At the end of the day, without proper planning, saving too much is as bad as spending too much. You should save a significant amount to see progress but it doesn’t have to ruin your lifestyle.
Trick #3: Setting Short-term Savings Goals
Setting goals is important in all aspects of your life and it is important in saving money too. Goals are what you want to achieve within a specific period. Effective goals are time-bound and they help you save more money.
You may have a long-term goal of a big amount of money you want to save but you must be able to break it down to short-term goals that are easy to achieve. You will be motivated each time you achieve these short-term goals. We all want to win and we can trick ourselves into saving more money by creating a goal that helps us to win. All you have to do is to create an achievable goal and each time you meet your target, you’ll want to save more money.
Let’s assume that you want to save $100,000 in 10 years, you can start by breaking it down from a long-term goal of 10 years to a medium-term goal of 1 year. Calculate how much you need to save every year to achieve your goal. In this case, the answer is $10,000. Do you see how easy it’s becoming now? $10,000 is easier to save than $100,000. However, you can still break down this medium-term goal of $10,000 a year to a short-term goal of how much you would like to save every month. If you divide this amount by 12, you will realize that you only need to save about $833 every month to achieve your goal. At first, $100,000 seems too much but breaking it down will make it more realistic and easier to achieve. You would be motivated to pursue an $833 goal than a $100,000 goal.
Trick #4: Avoid Spending Temptations
Let’s be sincere, we all want to have more money so that we can spend it on the things that we want. However, it is possible to spend too much money buying things that we do not need. Another method that I used to start saving more money was avoiding spending temptation. There are temptations everywhere to spend your money from your mailbox to your phone and social media but you must know how to avoid these temptations. These spending temptations will make you spend too much money and have little to save. Like I’ve mentioned earlier, you must learn to create a balance between your spending and savings.
I’m sure if you check your email, you’re going to see a message trying to sell one product or another to you. Advances in technology has made advertising all the more enticing these days. Brands can use images and videos to make their products more attractive and you may be tempted to buy them even when you don’t need them. Some companies will even show you advertisements that are relevant to your recent search on the internet. For example, if you search for a gadget on Google, you may be surprised to see Facebook advertising a similar product to you. So you see it’s easy to fall into these spending temptations.
One of the ways to avoid spending temptations is to discipline yourself. If you realize that you always spend too much money anytime you go to the mall, you can avoid going there often. Make a list of everything that you need in a month and buy them at once. Having a budget may also help you to discover some of the ways that you spend too much money and avoid them.
Another way to avoid these temptations is to unsubscribe yourself from the mailing list that sends you adverts to buy things that you do not need. You may think you are getting a good offer from some of them but they are all gimmicks to make you spend money. For example, buying a pair of shoes that you don’t need at a 30% discount is still not a good deal. You don’t need it and you could have saved the remaining 70% you used for the purchase.
Avoiding these temptations requires deliberate effort. There are times when you have to discipline yourself to stay away from social media if you realize that this is what makes you fall into spending temptations. You should also avoid online selling platforms if you don’t have anything to buy.
Trick #5: Create A Savings Vision Board
The last trick that will help you to start saving more money is creating a vision board. Allow me use this illustration to explain to you so you have a better understanding of this point. Imagine you left your house and started driving without a location in mind, you are not going to arrive at any destination because you don’t have where you are going. It’s easier to save money when you have a vision or picture of something you want to use the money for.
A saving vision board is simply a board with a picture of your vision. Do you have a dream location for a perfect vacation or a type of car that you wish to buy? This is your vision and you can take a picture of this location or car and place it at a spot where you will constantly see it. A vision board doesn’t have to be anything complex. It can be a cardboard on the wall with a picture of your dream house. You can even make your phone and computer a vision board by using the picture as your wallpaper.
How a vision board works is that each time you see the picture, you remember your goal and start working towards it. Each time you see the picture, you will remember why you need to save more money and spend less. This trick works great and I highly recommend it if you aren’t already using it!