There are two types of people in the world, spenders and savers. Unfortunately, if you’re a spender, it can be really hard to develop good habits to become a saver. Putting money into savings instead of spending it can be worse than dieting for many people. If you’re one of them, though, there are a few tricks you can try to make saving money not such an ordeal.
Start by giving yourself rewards every time you save money. To do this, make a list of as many of your financial goals as you can think of. Then, write down how much meeting each one of these goals will cost. For example, if you want to pay off your credit card debt, then add up the total amount of all of your debts.
After assigning a dollar amount to each goal, choose one goal from your list. Depending on your circumstances, you might want to choose the goal that costs the least, or the goal that is personally the most important to you. As soon as you have chosen your goal, write it down on another piece of paper.
Next, look at your budget and determine how much you can save towards your goal every week or month. On your paper, write down a schedule, based on this amount, showing how long it will be until you reach your goal.
The next part is fun. Decide on what rewards you will get for meeting your savings goal at various points along the schedule you just wrote down. For example, a person who is saving for a trip to Europe might decide to buy something he or she needs for the trip every month that they meet their savings goal. They might choose to go shopping for luggage one month, and buy new clothes in another month. Someone who is paying off their credit card debt might decide to treat themselves to dinner out every time that he or she pays off ten percent of the debt.
Of course, not everyone can afford to spend a lot on these splurges. If you really need to save a lot of money, reward yourself by doing something that is free or cheap. One couple, for example, rewards themselves with a steak dinner (cooked at home) whenever they pay off an extra $1000 of their second mortgage. Another couple has a picnic lunch at their favorite park when they pay off a credit card.
If you don’t like being tied to getting just one thing, set aside a small amount of money every month to splurge at a favorite store. If you make your savings goal, you get to spend the money, and if you don’t put the money in your savings account.
If you’re saving a large amount of money, such as an emergency fund, you might want to consider siphoning off half of the interest that the account earns and using it to buy something you want. Not only does this reward you for saving, but the more you save, the more money you will have to spend.