Always living from pay day to pay day? Here are some subtle ways to trick yourself to be smart with your money and work towards financial goals
“Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving”
“Do I really need it?”
Question every purchase. Follow the 30-day rule where you diarise what you’re wanting to splurge on. By the time the 30 days are up, you may find you no longer need it.
Name your savings goal
Make it an interesting number, such as your year of birth. Split up your money into accounts for different purposes. Set up an automatic payment to put away savings on pay day, and don’t reach for the credit card!
Carry a diary or use a spend-tracking app like Mint or Chime. Every time you splash the cash, jot it down. At the end of the month, categorise all your spending. That takeaway coffee may be costing you way more than you can afford. Brew your own!
Follow Newton’s Law
Every action should have an equal and opposite reaction. If you buy a low-value item, that wasn’t part of your budget, transfer the same amount to your savings.
Stick a picture of your goal on the fridge or use it as your screensaver. Challenge yourself with small things like making one meal a day that costs less than $5.
Make some pointed changes to your habits and lifestyle. Washing your clothes in cold water instead of hot, unplugging appliances when you’re not using them, and growing your own vegetables, all add up.
Pay all bills such as rent on pay day. Plan a shopping trip on that day for just the basics – no treats allowed. Withdraw the remaining money and split the cash into envelopes for non-essentials, such as new clothes.
Stock up to save. For instance, if you are taking prescription medication, ask your doctor to give you a few month’s quota so you can save on co-pay.
It may be easier to save if you don’t feel like you are depriving yourself. So once in a while, spend on something frivolous that you can tick off your “miscellaneous” budget. Get yourself a new shade of lipstick or nail polish!
Make a “to-do” list to clean out your closet and cupboards regularly, so that you can see what you have at a glance and also easily access them. Seeing how that new dress (that you don’t need) might create an organisation challenge might just dissuade you.
TEXT: BAUERSYNDICATION.COM.AU / ADDITIONAL REPORTING: SANDHYA MAHADEVAN / PHOTO: 123RF.COM