Listen, we all know that saving money is an act that we should all do. Everyone should save for the future as it can ensure that you have enough money stashed away when you need it. The problem is that it’s very hard to stay motivated when saving money. You start to lose your motivation, encouraging you to spend more of your money and save less.
Seeing as it’s the start of a new year, many of you might have set yourself the resolution to save more money this year. We’re only a few weeks in, but your motivation is already dwindling. So, here are some great ways you can stay motivated to save in the coming twelve months:
How To Stay Motivated To Save Money This Year
Find your ‘why’
When it comes to motivation, you need to know why you’re doing something. Why are you working hard to save money? If you don’t have a reason to do this, it will always be hard for you to stick to your saving plan. As such, you need to start by setting your ‘why’.
Why are you saving money? Is it to afford a new house? Is it to help your children pay for their college tuition? Is it to help you pay for an operation you’ve needed for a long time? We all have different reasons, and it’s down to you to figure out the purpose of your saving. Once you’ve got this, you’ve basically given yourself a goal to work towards. Not only that, but it’s a goal that’s personal to you or your family. There’s some added emotion behind it, encouraging you to stay more motivated.
Set realistic goals
A lot of the time, our motivation dwindles because we are struggling to maintain the progress needed to achieve our goals. Ideally, you should have a yearly goal for how much money you want to save. The issue is when we set the bar too high or too low. Setting the bar too high will mean you have to really make every penny count. For example, imagine you want to buy a brand new car that’s $20,000, so that’s your savings target for the end of the year. It’ll mean you have to save $1,666 dollars per month. In reality, this is far beyond what the average person can save. It could be possible, but it woulc mean making severe sacrifices that are hard to stick to every month. In the end, your motivation leaves you as you feel like you’re making no progress and it’s just too hard.
On the other end of the scale, setting the bar too low will mean you end up spending a lot of money because you think to yourself “oh, it’s fine, I only need to save $1,000 by the end of the year!”. You become complacent, which tends to lead you down a tricky path where you spend, spend, spend.
Both of these problems can be avoided if you set realistic goals. Look at how much money you’re making, think about your key living expenses that you can’t reduce – like your rent and any bills that are already fixed in place. Already, you will start to see how much money is left over to potentially save per month. Allow room for extra expenses – like food, etc. – and then you can calculate a realistic figure for monthly saving. From here, you can set an annual goal that’s achievable. You can even use a debt payment app to help track your debts. As a result, you will have more motivation because you’ve worked out that, with a budget, you can definitely reach this target – and maybe even exceed it.
Set smaller goals throughout the year
Your main goal is obviously the big one, but to help you stay motivated to achieve this, you need smaller goals. One way of doing this is to do as we’ve just discussed and set a monthly savings target. From here, you can narrow it down to a weekly savings goal as well. You need to save x amount per week to achieve your monthly goal, and subsequent monthly goals will help you get the one at the end of the year.
Smaller goals fuel your motivational fire because they are more achievable. Setting a target of saving $5,000 in one year seems like such a huge step to make. Even when you break it down monthly, it can feel pretty substantial. But, when you look at how much you need to save per week, it’s only around $96. Suddenly, that figure seems much smaller and more achievable, helping you stay motivated for longer.
Read a motivational quote per day
Motivational quotes are great for giving you that extra boost of motivation, regardless of what you’re striving to achieve. It’s good to read a quote per day, preferably at the beginning of the day, as it gets your thoughts moving and your mind in full flow. There are some great daily quotes on sites like Everyday Power that refresh each morning. So, every day, you can read a new one that gives you a burst of motivation to stick to your goals.
You can read general motivational quotes, or you can try to find some that are specifically geared towards money and saving. Either way, reading the words will really make you think about things in a different perspective. Sometimes, this is the little boost you need to keep on going day after day. Another good idea is to get yourself a little motivational calendar where each day has a new quote, it’s the same concept as going online – it all comes down to personal preference.
Take part in saving challenges
Another way to find extra motivation is by taking part in challenges. Again, like the quotes, this is something that helps you stay motivated no matter what you’re doing. The key is to find challenges that are relevant to what your goals are. Here, you want to save money, so you can try a challenge like No Spend January. The goal with this challenge is to avoid purchasing anything outside of your normal monthly expenses. Another challenge idea could be Dry January, where you avoid drinking alcohol for the month. This might not seem like a direct challenge associated with saving money, but it does help you save by reducing what you’d spend on alcohol.
Challenges help you stay motivated as they give you something extra to focus on and work towards. In a way, they are almost like another short-term goal for you to aim for. But, there’s a fun element of a challenge that encourages you to stick at it. Try finding different challenges to do throughout the year and you should be able to stay motivated to reach your annual saving goals.
Tell others about your goals
It’s important to be held accountable when you don’t stick to your goals and plans. If you’re the only person that knows about this goal, then you’re the only person that can hold yourself accountable. Now, this is easier said than done, and the better option is to ensure that other people know. Speak to a friend or family member and tell them what you’re hoping to do. Tell them of your small and large savings goals, and ask them to help you stick with them. They can get in touch now and then to check in and remind you of what you aim to do, and this can give you a jolt of motivation if you’re ever feeling low.
Similarly, you end up feeling bad and embarrassed if you’ve told lots of people you’re doing something, and then they ask you how it’s going on but you have given up. It’s not the easiest thing to admit to anyone, and you don’t want to feel like you’ve let people down. So, telling others is the best way to hold yourself accountable and ensure you don’t give up after a month or two.
Set up automatic payments
This helps you stay motivated because it takes the temptation out of your hands. In your bank account, set up automatic payments every week to take out your savings at the start of that week. Right away, you are forced to live through that week with what’s left in your bank.
Two things happen here: firstly, you avoid situations where you forget to send money to your savings accounts. Secondly, you are forced to have the motivation to save money and be more responsible with your spending because the cash has already left your account. If you spend too much each week, you won’t have enough to pay your bills when the time comes around. It’s a nice way to ensure you hit your goals and don’t lose the motivation.
Saving money is a very good goal to work towards in the new year. However, there’s no denying that it can be a big challenge. You start off with good intentions, but you quickly lose the motivation to save. With these tips, you can stay motivated throughout the year, hitting your targets in no time at all!