The conflict between saving and spending is real, especially today when temptations are all around us.
It is further intensified by the idea of wishing to live in the present yet being mindful of creating a financially secure future once you retire.
So how can you beat the difficulties of saving? Here are five ways to enjoy saving money so it doesn’t seem like a chore.
1. Set goals
One of the best ways to keep you on the right track is to remind yourself of your main goal. This is because our goals serve as our motivation to face difficulties along the way.
Why did you spend all those hours studying a subject you did not like back in school or college? Because you had a goal to pass that subject in order to achieve your main goal of finishing your studies.
Why not use the same strategy when it comes to saving? Ask yourself, “Why am I saving?”
While most people save so they are finally secure when they retire, many actually find it hard to imagine themselves getting old, settling down, and retiring.
That is why it might be helpful to set mini goals for yourself that serve as milestones towards your big goal.
These goals can be as small as not going shopping for clothes this month, not spending beyond a certain amount when you go out, or reaching a certain amount of savings by a deadline you give yourself.
Small goals are easier to remember and hold on to, and the feeling of accomplishing goals is fulfilling and motivating, no matter how small they may be. Take advantage of this and start plotting your list now.
2. Reward yourself from time to time
To intensify your motivation and the feeling of fulfilment after achieving your mini goals, reward yourself sometimes. Yes, it’s wrong to overindulge, but it’s also wrong to deprive yourself.
When you do not reward ourselves when it is due, you’ll feel depleted and unmotivated, and will easily get tired of what you’re doing.
Self-deprivation does not provide a good state of mind to work and to form good habits.
To give something, especially when it is due, is not selfish; it is just right. In fact, it’s basic psychology, specifically classical conditioning. When you condition yourself to get something you want after exerting hard work, working hard eventually becomes a habit.
So, go ahead and indulge your whims from time to time. Make such rewards a constant reminder that hard work pays off. Just make sure not to overdo it and that you stay on budget.
3. Use a money-saving app
One thing that makes it difficult to save is the budgeting part. However, budgeting is one of the most important things you have to do if you want to save a significant amount.
When you don’t budget, you end up spending on unnecessary things which will leave you wondering in the end, “Where did all my money go?”
The good news is, these days, you do not have to use pen, paper, and calculator in order to budget properly. Technology has made things much easier and faster for us.
There are lots of apps that can help you with your budgeting needs. What is even better is that many of them can be downloaded for free. With a few taps, you can have an organised budget list.
Just make sure to regularly update it and include everything – your income, expenses, etc. – and you are good to go! With such apps, you can see where all your money goes with a few taps.
4. When you can DIY, do it
If you are the artsy kind who likes to try different things, you can add more to your savings by doing it yourself instead of buying.
Don’t have enough cups? Don’t throw out those mayonnaise bottles; use those mason jars instead. Think your apartment looks too simple? Why buy a painting or decoration when you can make one yourself?
What’s great about DIY is how you can customise things according to how you want them to be. The possibilities are endless.
So go ahead; visit Pinterest and look for the next DIY project to work on.
5. Get organised
If you like using planners, use this quality to your advantage.
Instead of writing boring budget plans on plain white paper, why not spice it up by making a colourful planner or journal where you can list your goals, expenses, and other financial matters.
This way, you will be doing something you love while at the same time, doing yourself a big favour financially.
This article first appeared in The New Savvy.
The New Savvy is Asia’s leading financial, investments and career platform for women. Our bold vision is to empower 100 million women to achieve financial happiness. We deliver high-quality content through conferences, e-learning platforms, personal finance apps and e-commerce stores.