Ah, saving. Easy for some, difficult for others, but always beneficial. And it has less to do with your income and more to do with your mindset than you might think - although obviously the amount of money you have plays a big part!
I’ve always found it difficult to save my money for a rainy day instead of spending it right now, so here are four things that worked for me.
Know what you’re saving for
The thing that finally turned my savings account from a neglected, cobweb-strewn wasteland to looking a little healthier at the age of 24 was having a reason to save.
I always knew that I should be growing my savings, but I didn’t really have a reason to. I wasn’t too bothered about buying a house, or going travelling, but as I became unhappier in my job, I knew that I wanted to start my own business. At this point, I didn’t even know what kind of business I wanted to run, I just knew that it was something I definitely wanted to do (I was right - I love being in control of my workload).
Having a reason to save really motivated me to take saving more seriously and I think that’s the key. Whether you want to save for a house, a designer bag, a year in Thailand or just have a rainy day fund to fall back on, keep it at the forefront of your mind and it will help you to say no to the ASOS sale and yes to the future of your dreams.
Be very specific about your savings goals
It’s all very well saying “I’m saving up for a Gucci bag”, but without knowing the details it will remain a distant dream. Wishy-washy doesn’t work. You’ve got to get specific and think about:
What you’re saving for
How much you need to save
How much you can afford to save each month
How long it will take you to save the amount you need (and the date you’ll reach your savings goal)
Which account your savings are going into
How often you’re adding to your savings
Treat it like a bill
Automating your savings is an absolute game-changer.
Your bills come out as direct debits, right? Your savings should, too. Make the process as low-effort as possible. Think about it, you’re more likely to hesitate putting a chunk of your hard-earned cash away on pay day than to go to the trouble of transferring it back out of your savings account.
Keep your reason for saving in your mind
As I mentioned earlier, once you know what you’re saving for it becomes much easier to save up because you’re super-motivated and excited about your goal…until you aren’t. It’s so easy to forget about the reason we’re saving, or to have a rubbish day, say eff it and spend our current savings pot on something silly which sets us back.
The key to keeping that motivation and excitement up? Constantly remind yourself of what you’re saving up for. Have a picture of it as your phone and laptop wallpaper. Set alerts in your phone to cheer yourself on. Make a Pinterest board to inspire you. Put pictures and Post-It notes in random places to remind yourself of your goal (I found one in my makeup bag this morning).
It works and gives you a much-needed boost to carry on, trust me.
Have you got any tips or tricks that have helped you to reach your savings goals? Let me know in the comments.
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