There are many ways for a person to define success. One of them is financial security. Having enough money to cover all your expenses for many months or years can give you a sense of freedom.
But saving money may not be easy. One person is exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 ads in a day, which leads that person to buy something even if they don’t need or want it. Social media can also convince people to buy things just to fit in.
If you’re really determined, though, you can succeed in saving money by tricking your brain into doing it. Here are some strategies you might consider using:
Set Specific Goals
When you make a conscious effort to save money, you need to set specific goals. For instance, identify how much money you want to have saved by the end of the year. You might also try setting a goal of not spending money for a certain period.
After determining your goals, it will help you list the steps you need to take to achieve them. Consider what you need to do to save your desired amount and what you need to avoid. These steps will serve as your guide in making wiser financial decisions. Meanwhile, your goals will motivate you to save.
Track Your Finances
Tracking your money can also help. You can look at your logs to make more conscious financial decisions. For example, you can determine what things you spend more money on than normal to cut costs. You might consider making a tracker using an Excel spreadsheet. This way, you get to input formulas to make computations and tracking easier. If you want a more traditional approach, you can get a notebook to write down all your money’s ins and outs.
You can also save more money by automating savings and payments. You can set up automated deposits to your savings account every month. Also, check with your employer if they could deposit your paycheck into two separate accounts, one of them being your savings account. Regarding payments, you can set up auto payments for your credit card bills and other utility bills.
Automating savings will give you no choice but to save something every month. Meanwhile, automating payments will ensure that you pay your bills on time and avoid incurring penalty fees.
Wait and Re-evaluate
When you see something nice in the store, you might get the impulse to immediately buy it without much thought. Many people get too excited and let their emotions get the best of them when buying new things. And this often doesn’t end well. In 2014, a survey found that 52% of female respondents regretted impulse buying; 46% of male respondents said the same.
When you find something that you want to buy, you need to wait and re-evaluate your decision. The length of waiting may depend on the price. For example, if you found something in a grocery store that you want but don’t need, consider waiting until you’ve picked up everything you need before deciding whether to get that item. If you’re looking at a larger purchase, such as a new phone or laptop, consider waiting for 30 days. This period will give you enough time to reflect on whether you can afford it or really need it.
Read up on Other People’s Financial Successes
If you’re feeling frustrated, consider reading up on real-life stories about people who positively changed their lives because of financial security. Scientifically, these stories will inspire you and motivate you to continue your financial journey. Thanks to search engine optimization, you can easily find many accounts of people going through the same journey as yours and those that have already succeeded.
Look into the Future
But if the recreational activities aren’t enough to keep you motivated, try looking into your future. Imagine what your situation would be like after you’ve achieved financial security. For example, when you retire, you will have an adequate safety net and extra cash to burn. Thus, you’ll be able to live with more freedom, even if you no longer have a steady stream of income.
You can also think about the opposite and consider what your life would be like if you always struggle for money to pay your bills and finance your daily life. Imagining this situation will drive you to work harder towards your goals.
These are only a few of the many methods you can use to save money. Using psychological strategies, you can push yourself and reach the financial security you need to live a happier life.