People often make a change when the pain of the status quo is greater than the discomfort it takes to do something different. In our money lives that trigger might be an immense feeling of guilt or worry, impending debt or even not being able to afford something we really want. Something happens and we decide we are going to take action and do something about it.
Deciding to do something about it is the first and most important step but at some point we do enough. The pain lightens up a bit and we are no longer SO moved to keep up with our new habits. Maybe we figured out how to pay that surprise bill or we receive our next paycheck and get the reprieve of some financial breathing room. Sigh. It’s no longer urgent to get our financial life in order so we don’t. Back to old habits.
Then something happens (again) and we go back into urgent mode. After a few times this can feel pretty futile. You might think “why get started on this loop again? It’s never going to work.”
The difference between people who consistently save or pay down debt vs. those who give up is very simple. According to Suze Orman, “true financial harmony is achieved when your pleasure in saving money equals or exceeds your pleasure in spending it.” This make so much sense!
If you get in the habit of enjoying paying yourself and watching your wealth grow, it will become easier and easier to stick to your new money habits.
You might be thinking, “great Ashley, but who enjoys saving more than they enjoy spending?” Great question. Here are some ideas to help you become one of those people.
Relish in Your Savings. While I’m a big believer of setting up automatic transfers to savings from your checking account, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your progress. Set up monthly (even weekly) reminders to sign in to your account and see how it’s growing. Seeing yourself progress towards your savings goals will be hugely rewarding.
Visualize What You Want. I recommend saving for something in particular. Whether it’s a tropical vacay, your first home or living in absolute financial freedom, when you have a goal in mind you can visualize what it would be like to achieve it. This is a huge motivator. At the end of the day, money is just paper that means something very different to each of us. Imagining what you will be using that money for is a game changer.
Think Like a CEO. When you start to save there is a huge shift that occurs. Yes, you are most likely still working to earn money but now your money is also working to earn for you. Put another way, you work for money and your money works for you. Think of each dollar you earn like an employee that works while you rest, while you work and while you play.
Celebrate Your Success. Like with any goal, you will want to create milestones and celebrate your progress. Why not celebrate for every $100 you save or every 10% of your goal? Doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive but definitely should be fun. Then how will you celebrate when you achieve your goal? Rewards and wining a game make saving that much more fun and therefore that much more successful. Test out some rewards and see how they work. If they don’t, scrap it and try something else.
Track Good Decisions. Anytime you make a decision to save vs. spend, write down how much you saved. At the end of the day or week tally up how much you saved in aggregate. Each time you write down something down it will feel awesome and you get to see the positive impact of your decisions on a daily or weekly basis.
You know you best. What are some ways you can make saving more pleasurable than spending? I’d love to hear what you come up with! Comment below or send me a note.