Question: No matter how hard I try, I struggle to save money. I make a start but for many reasons, I end up spending the money on everyday things rather than saving it. What can I do to change?
Answer: Your problem is very common. Psychologists talk of the need to change behaviours and changing behaviours, including saving behaviours takes time. We can all easily regress to our old patterns of spending on unnecessary things rather than saving for a longer term goal. Some tips to reduce the likelihood of this occurring are:
- A savings goal needs to be realistic for it to be achievable
- It’s important to start small goals and build up
- Be positive that you will achieve your saving goal
- Place a photo or a very good description of what you are saving for in a very prominent places at home and work
- Break down the savings goal into mini milestones and celebrate each one
- Be creative with how you celebrate your milestones
- Buddy up with someone – find a friend who you can trust, particularly someone who has been a successful saver
- Divert money into a separate savings – If you don’t see it, there’s a better chance of not using it. (See also Five Ways to Save – Savings Accounts)
- Steer clear of credit cards and so called ‘daily specials’ to prevent the temptation to overspend
- If you find yourself falling back into old habits, ask yourself why? What did you do? What tempted you? Learn as best you can from your errors and re-focus back on your goals.