I love saving money. It excites me to know that I am making progress on reaching my goals. But it wasn’t always this way. When I was younger, I had a tough time saving money. In fact, I bet I went through what many of you who have a tough time saving money are going through right now.
You make a plan to save some money and actually make some transfers to a savings account. But then you see something (or a few somethings) you like and next thing you know, your savings is gone.
Why is this? For me, the reason was because I wasn’t giving meaning to my money. What the heck does this mean? It means that I was just saving money without any real, tangible goal. I would save $100 from a paycheck because it was “the smart financial thing to do”.
But when something interesting caught my eye, I was quick to spend that money. Once I gave my money meaning, I had a goal or plan for it, things began to change.
I was more reluctant to spend the money I saved on just anything because it meant I was giving up the thing I was saving money for. For example, let’s say I was saving money for a trip to Cancun. I knew that every dollar I saved was getting me closer and closer to the beaches in Mexico with a cold drink in my hand.
I also knew that every dollar of this money I spent on something else was taking me farther and farther away from that goal. Personally, I wanted to be on that beach bad! So I made sure I didn’t spend any of the money I had saved.
Start Assigning Goals
So, you need to start giving your money meaning by assigning goals to it. Why are you saving money? For an amazing vacation?A new house? Retirement? Whatever the goal, make sure you give it as much meaning as possible.
This means to not just save money for a vacation. Paint the picture so you are less tempted. Look back at my example. I wasn’t just saving for a vacation. I was saving so I could be on the beach with a cold drink in my hand.
Having this detail allowed me to visualize my goal and make it personal for me. It carried much more weight than if I were just saving for a vacation. In fact, I might still spend money I saved for a vacation because I wasn’t personally invested in that goal.
The same idea holds true for retirement. Don’t just save so you can retire at 65. That is boring and you’ll probably be more interested in doing other things with your money. Instead, picture retirement in as much detail as possible. Does it mean golfing every day? Traveling? Get specific and you will find saving money will be easier.
One Trick To Help Motivate You
I know a lot of people have just one savings account. I have 8. Yeah, that’s right, 8 savings accounts. Each one is dedicated to a specific goal and when I log into my online account, I renamed them as my goal. So my vacation savings account is “Beach With A Drink” account.
By breaking out my savings this way, it adds a level of motivation for me. I get excited when I see I have $1,500 saved for my drink on the beach. If I had all of my savings lumped together, it would be harder to tell how much money is for each goal and might lead to me losing some interest.
As you see progress towards your goals, you get more excited to reach them. Yes it does require a little more work in terms of transferring the money, but if you set up an automatic transfer, it shouldn’t be an issue.
If you have some trouble saving money, then I encourage you to start giving your money some meaning. Get specific on what you want to do with that money so that any money you save, you will be discouraged to spend on other things.
Doing this has worked wonders for my savings and I think it could work wonders for yours as well.