|How to Save More Money|
Here’s a way to trick your brain into saving more money for your goals. It’s somewhat painless. You think of ways of spending as either important or not. Give this simple plan a try.
1. Make a list of things that are important to you. Just put down everything and anything that comes to mind. Don’t make any judgments or try to decide which things are more important than others.
2. When you run out of things to write, start another list: things that are NOT important to you. Again, no judgment or feeling guilty about any particular item. Just be honest.
3. On both lists circle any items that cost money.
4. Make 2 new lists with just the circled items. Prioritize the items on your important spending list with the most important item at the top of the list. This is your Very Important Priorities List, or VIP List. The other list is your Not Important List, or NIL List.
5. Post these two lists on your refrigerator or some other place you will see them often, even in your wallet where you might be most tempted to pull out those credit cards. It’s effective to use pictures of your most important VIP items to send your brain a quick signal. Maybe it’s a picture of a new house or maybe it’s a photo of your kids to remind you of saving for their education.
6. Cut your spending on all of the items on your NIL List–shrink this spending to as close as “nil” as you can! Cut it to the bare minimum and eliminate it altogether when and where you can. How much does that save you? It can be quite a lot if you’ve been spending just to please others. Is it difficult to make these cuts? Why? Remember you don’t really care about these items. Need more motivation? Look at your VIP List.
7. Continue to look for ways to cut your VIP spending also, but only cutting in ways that do not affect the quality of your goals.
8. Every time you save, put the savings into a separate savings account. You can use that money for unexpected expenses or for any of your VIP list goals, but it’s main purpose is for you to see results. You can use a coin jar (add bills too) at home for small amounts and deposit it in your savings account when it’s enough.
9. Keep track of where you are actually spending your money for a few months and see where you can make cuts. You might be surprised to find too much of your money going for things that are on your NIL List. Find ways to lower that kind of spending and look at your VIP List often to motivate yourself!
10. Review your lists every few months and rearrange any priorities. This system might seem simple, but you are using visual cues to remind your brain how you want to spend and where you want to save. It takes a while to retrain your brain, so keep at it for a few months to see results.
Now that you know what you are saving for, find more ways to boost your savings. Here’s a quick start: click here for 5 easy tips to save $700-800 a year every year. Look at that new savings account bottom line and pat yourself on your back! Bonus: you might feel less stress knowing your spending is in line with your own values. So you can sleep at night and know you are on track to achieve your most important goals!