By Tara Tamiko.
Saving money might not be something you consider fun, but we’re about to change that. You’ve probably seen a lot of posts about how cutting back on your favorite coffee concoction of choice will help you save the pennies. You’re likely to have tried that for a week, and it just doesn’t work. You’re not any richer and you’re suffering from ‘depresso’.
Remit Sethi, from I Will Teach You To Be Rich, talks about the psychology of cutting back on lattes and we agree with him; focus on:
The big wins instead of savings on pointless small expenses like lattes. — Remit Sethi
You can actually meet your financial goals AND enjoy doing it in the process.
Yes, you can enjoy saving money
Saving money is like dieting; when you mess up on one tiny thing you think it’s a free for all to keep on spending. You say to yourself, “You know what, I’ll start saving next paycheck” And the cycle begins.
Unlike a dieter, you want fat; a healthy fat bank account. And you can have that and your coffee by using one—or all—of the following enjoyable ways of saving money. Let’s get to it.
Gamify your money management
Keep a loose record of what you spend over the next 30 days. You don’t have to get any gadgets, apps or tools, although if you want to up your game, you can use our Money Strands app, but more on that later.
Before going to sleep write down how much you think you spent that day. That’s it. Simple.
Then challenge yourself to spend just a little less than that the next day. 30 days too long for you? Try a week. You’ll soon see how you’ll enjoy trying to lower the amount each day and you’ll see this will curb your spending.
Don’t break the spending chain
Let’s play a game:
- Decide how much money you’re going to spend each day.
- Every time you hit that amount, or less, mark it off your calendar 30 days.
Let’s say your daily spend amount is $10. Every evening place an X on the corresponding day of your calendar if you have spent $10 or less.
If you spend more than that amount the chain is broken. Start over.
Rinse and repeat until you’ve marked off 30 days in a row. Trust us, you will win at this. Not keen on the pen and paper approach, here’s a handy online: Don’t Break the Chain calendar. (Yep, it’s a thing!)
The 3 Day Wait Rule
Here’s a smart little money saving trick that will change your spending habits. Want to buy something? Note it and wait three days to see if you still want to buy it.
Imagine your TV is working just fine, but you’d like an upgrade, maybe a bigger screen. You don’t need it, but you’ve earned it and deserve it. Why not?
Wait three days before buying it. Notice we’re not telling you shouldn’t buy it but you know purchases are made based on emotions not on needs. When you use this rule for every major purchase, you’ll see you’re spending less and saving more.
Still with the TV scenario, suppose you’ve decided to go ahead and buy your well-deserved TV after your three-day wait. Consider this: if someone were to offer you the cash value of the TV would you take it? Ask yourself: Do I value the cash amount of the product I’m buying more than the product itself?
Your answer to this question will indicate your real desire for the TV.
Leave it in your cart
If you’re following the 3 Day Wait Rule and you shop online, you’re going to love this way of saving money.
hen shopping online, add the item to your shopping cart and then step away from the keyboard. As long as you’re registered with the shop (they have your email) this will work a charm.
Many shops online will send you a reminder of the items you’ve left in your shopping cart. And here’s the best part: some will offer you a discount if you return to complete your order. Now that’s a sweet deal.
How many hours is your spend worth?
“I’ve earned it.” You’ve told yourself this many times to justify a spend. But have you earned it? A quick and easy calculation will soon tell you.
- Think of the last thing you bought where the cost of it made you think twice; but you bought it anyway.
- Work out your hourly rate.
- Calculate how many hours you worked to buy that item.
An example: If your hourly rate is $16 and you want to buy an $80 product. Ask yourself if it’s worth 5 of your working hours.
A different, but compelling, perspective to consider, wouldn’t you agree?
Wrapping it up
We’re sure at least one of these money-saving ideas will resonate with you. You’ll soon find you’re more conscious of where your dollar bills are going; and hopefully that will be in your savings account.
These ways of saving money don’t involve the use of apps or tools, but you could consider our MoneyStrands app. With MoneyStrands you can set your saving goals, keep yourself ahead of the game and see your financial life in one place.
Download MoneyStrands for free:
Which of these ways of saving money would you enjoy using? We’d love to hear how you save your money. Share your thoughts in the comments below.