Saving money is never easy; a staggering 35% of Brits spend almost all their earnings within one week of getting paid. If you do have some disposable cash left over once all the bills are paid, it’s hard to think about taking some of it away to put into savings. The reason for it being hard is because most of us don’t have a ‘why’.
The ‘why’ is the reason you are saving – it’s more than just saving a generic ‘rainy day’ – your ‘why’ should truly mean something to you, it needs to be worthwhile. In reaching your financial goals you also need to come to the realisation that yes, you can have it all, but just not right now; it takes effort and self-discipline to save and having your ‘why’ is going to keep you on track – it explains why you are sacrificing immediate gratification in return for long-term gains and satisfaction.
Here are some ways you can find your ‘why’ and really start to make a difference to your savings.
Think about your future-self
Try to image your life in the future – what does it look like? Think about what you actually want to achieve in the next 5, 10 and 20 years. What are the key things present? Perhaps you are in your own home or are even retired early? To achieve any of these things you are going to need to start planning and saving now. Use your ‘why’ to keep you on track.
Set yourself reminders
On your savings journey there will be times where you forget about what you are trying to achieve. Day-to-day life can easily get in the way; it’s all the small things that crop up like being invited out for drinks, the new must-have iGadget or the unexpected bill that lands when your car decided to stop working. Set yourself up reminders of why you are saving to keep you focussed. It can be small things like setting up a calendar reminder every month or changing the wallpaper on your phone, but reminders are definitely going to help you.
Finally get round to setting your budget
If you don’t have a budget, you need to get one now. It really is the best way of making sure you are in control over your money. Budgeting is especially good when it comes to setting yourself some ‘fun money’, after all everyone need some down time, even when you are cutting back your spending. Use your budget to plan in some cash that you can use to spend on whatever you like, this doesn’t need to be a lot of money (you are trying to save), but definitely have some time where you can let your hair down, you’ll feel better for it.
Photo credit: Marco / Zak