I’ve been saving for the future for as long as I can remember. I had my first savings account when I was 12 years old. My dad gave me money for doing things like polishing his shoes and ironing his shirts. When I got older, I went to work in the family restaurant. What did I do with my paychecks? I saved them. I think I’m a born saver whereas some people are born spenders. However, even the best of us get tired of saving and suffer from frugality fatigue from time to time.
Sometimes it sucks to be the one person in my group of friends that says no to concerts or restaurant meals. In the face of all this, it can be tempting to fall off the wagon and spend like crazy. Fortunately, there are ways to motivate yourself to save when you simply don’t feel like saving.
Take a Break
Yup, it seems super counter-intuitive to tell you to take a break from saving when that’s exactly what you’re trying to avoid. You know what though, sometimes a break is all you need to get yourself back on track. You’ve worked hard. You know what your goals are and what you need to do to reach them. It’s okay to acknowledge that you’ve got a bit of frugality fatigue.
I experience it myself from time to time. When I make my grocery shopping list, I don’t always want to buy the least expensive thing possible. Sometimes I just want to go to the store and buy whatever catches my eye. It’s like people needing cheat days when they’re dieting. When you’re always in savings mode, it can get tiring and feel repetitive. Give yourself a day off and buy whatever you feel like. Well, within reason, of course. 😉
Create Short-Term Goals
If you’re experiencing fatigue when it comes to saving money, it’s time to step back and examine your goals. It’s good to have goals that stretch your limitations and abilities, but if you’ve made them too difficult to reach, you’ll feel frustrated and give up. That’s why it’s good to have short-term goals. It doesn’t you should give up on making long-term plans. Having goals that can be reached in the near future can serve as a huge motivator. You’ll likely be able to push yourself harder knowing that this will be a short spring rather than a long marathon.
Address Your Roadblocks
When I feel sluggish about saving money, it’s usually due to setbacks or roadblocks I’m facing. Therefore, the logical thing to do is to remove those roadblocks so that I can get back to my routine of saving money. Get a plan in place that will help you combat your most difficult challenges so you can nip trouble in the bud.
Celebrate Your Successes
When you accomplish a saving goal, it’s okay to celebrate! Acknowledge that you did something amazing and carry that positive energy with you as you continue to save. It’s good to celebrate your successes and splurging a little every now and then. People in the PF realm stress eating in and cooking your own meals, myself included. You know what though, I really like dining out at restaurants. When I reach a major financial milestone, I celebrate by treating myself to a meal at my favorite restaurant. Enjoying the fruits of your hard work reinforces why you save and can motivate you to continue to save.
Remind Yourself Why You Save
What are you saving for? Sometimes, we are so intent on saving and being frugal that we forget what we’re saving for in the first place! Are your goals written down? Do you regularly review them? I have a list of my saving goals written down on a spreadsheet along with the amounts I need to save and the timeline for reaching those goals. I regularly look at this spreadsheet to see how I’m doing. It’s incredibly motivating because it’s an easy way to see my progress.
Get an Accountability Partner
If you have trouble motivating yourself to save money, you should team up with a buddy who will hold you accountable. Find a like-minded friend and share your goals with each other. Have weekly or bi-weekly coffee dates where you can share your progress. It is human nature to push ourselves harder when we’re accountable not just to ourselves but to someone else.
I’m pretty frugal person by nature but that doesn’t mean I’m resistant to temptations. It’s fun to mindlessly look at shop windows and browse the Internet for the latest fashions. Here’s a trick to fulfill your indulgences without breaking the bank – virtual shopping. I don’t mean online shopping. What I mean is you can browse online and put items in your cart but just don’t check out. At the end of your “shopping trip,” don’t fork over your credit card numbers. I find that this is enough to fulfill my need to shop without spending money and I can get back to saving mode.
One of the best motivators for me to save money is by volunteering and donating. I donate monthly to an organization called Children International. With a $22 donation, it covers my sponsored child’s monthly schooling expenses and basic needs. Isn’t that incredible? A relatively low amount of money is enough to put someone through school. When I get tired of saving money, I remind myself that there are so many people who are less fortunate. I’m very lucky to have a job that pays enough to allow me live in a comfy house, drive a car, and have money left over to save.
What are your tips and tricks for keeping yourself motivated and continue to save money?