It’s that time of year, Christmas has been and gone and the festivities feel like a dim and distant memory, but the sound of the credit card bill landing on the doormat is a timely reminder of the cost of the excess at Christmas time.
For many, the start of the New Year marks a time when we promise that next year will be different, next year we will take control of our finances, we won’t overspend and we will start to save for the future.
But once the initial motivation wears off, it all seems just a bit too much like hard work. It becomes just another failed New Year’s Resolution to be rolled over into next year!
The reality is that many of us have a whole load of self-sabotage going on where money is concerned. Creating new behaviours, such as developing a savings habit and learning how to save money effectively, can be a real challenge.
I started thinking about why this is the case, why do we sabotage ourselves with unhealthy financial behaviours? And why do so many of us fail to save even the smallest of amounts for our future financial security?
And then I came across an article from the superscrimpinghousewife.com. The article talks about how to accumulate £667 in savings, to be used for Christmas 2016, by making small incremental savings each day.
Basically, the idea is that you save 1p on day one, increasing it by a penny each day… so, 2p on day two, 3p on day three, 10p on day ten and so on, all the way up to day 365.
And, like a light bulb switching on, I realised that the reason why so many of us fail to even start a savings plan is because we feel that whatever we can afford to save simply won’t be enough.
Of course, this isn’t the truth. The most important thing about saving is that we just have to start somewhere.
What I like about this particular article is that it demonstrates how even the smallest amounts can create a healthy savings pot but, perhaps more importantly, it shows how to save money and develop an effective savings habit in an easy, painless way.
It allows us to strengthen our savings muscle….The idea of saving pennies each day feels totally achievable and is therefore unlikely to create any resistance in the mind.
Like any form of training, consistency builds strength and consistency of saving small amounts will build strength around new habits.
Spending everything we earn is simply a habit so saving a percentage of what we earn can also become a habit too, it’s simply a case of getting started and then sticking with it!
How to Save Money Effortlessly
It’s easy to overcomplicate things where savings and investment are concerned but in truth there are only two things that you need to do … Spend less than you earn and Save first.
It’s time to lose the ‘I’ll save when I can afford to’ mantra and implement the following:
1. Have a Goal in Mind
Energy flows where intention goes! Be clear about what you’ll be doing with all of the money that you’ll accumulate.
Saving for emergencies may not give you the motivation you need to kick-start the savings habit, however, thinking of a luxury holiday might.
2. Use your Imagination
The ability to imagine, not necessarily the amount of money, but everything you’ll be doing with the money is so important.
To quote Abraham Hicks: “Hold a thought for 17 seconds and the law of attraction kicks in. Hold a thought for 68 seconds and things move. Manifestation has begun.”
3. Know your Numbers
I don’t particularly like the word ‘budget.’ For me, it carries the same energy as the word ‘diet’ but it is important to have a handle of what you have coming in every month and what you have going out.
You can call it a spending plan. Knowing how you spend your money is crucial if you want to become financially conscious. Keeping a spending diary will help you to identify any unconscious money leaks.Knowing how you spend your money is crucial if you want to become financially conscious.Click To Tweet
4. Don’t Pay over the Odds
Look at areas where you are paying over the odds… Such as life cover, mortgage payments, utilities, food shopping. These are easy painless savings which can be directed towards your savings pot.
Identify how much you can save and set up an automatic direct transfer to go out each month.
5. Stop Making Excuses
By saying you don’t understand all of the savings options available… either get some education around how to save money and invest, or seek advice from a qualified professional such as an Independent Financial Adviser.
It may seem quite simple but truthfully it really is…. the first thing to do is to just start, take some steps today … no amount is too small and consistency is key, even if it just starts with a penny a day.
Do you have any innovative ways of saving? Do you think your money mind-set is holding you back when it comes to saving money? Let us know in the comment box below!”
(Photo Credit: Stuart Miles @FreeDigitalPhotos)
Six years ago, Sarah made the decision to qualify as a psychotherapist to enable her to develop her knowledge around money psychology. Her unique approach to financial planning now combines money mind set with practical financial planning. Sarah's mission is to help her clients achieve freedom from financial fears.
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