We all know the old adage, “In order to save, you have to live on less than you make.” In other words, income must exceed outflow. It’s a simple concept and yet, many of us find it difficult to stay committed to saving. Whether it’s overspending or borrowing from your retirement plan or just not saving, these habits will make a huge difference in the quality of which you live out your golden years.
So, how do we break these bad habits? Here are a few tips to help you keep your motivation even in those times of temptation.
Have a Reasonable Budget
Although you are trying to save and probably even trying to get out of debt, a family of six cannot eat on $200 per month. Make sure your numbers are reasonable and not stingy on necessary living expenses. If the numbers are just too tight and there is no room for saving, consider taking on a part-time job temporarily to build up an emergency fund and begin to pay on debt and save for your future.
Set goals and celebrate every win. For instance, if your goal is to save $1,000, decide how to reward yourself once you achieve it. Maybe, a nice dinner out (within reason) or a massage, etc. would be appropriate. The goal is to make saving money rewarding to you. The benefits must exceed the pain if you are to succeed.
Find a Mentor
Look around you. There are successful people who are great with money all over the place. If you don’t know someone like that, find one. Find a business owner, entrepreneur, business executive or any successful person and learn from them. Most of us love the opportunity to share about ourselves and our successes and even failures. These individuals will most likely welcome the opportunity to help you with your goals. Your intention is key here. You must go into this relationship with the spirit of a learner and not vent about your problems. If you do this, your relationship will benefit both of you… you get the opportunity to learn and your mentor gets the opportunity to share in your success.
Keep your Eye on the Goal
What is it you want out of life? Most of us would not answer ‘money’. We want the things money can buy… health, freedom from stress, travel, a bright future for our children. However, we all know it takes money to provide much of what we want. So, how do we keep focused?
Creating a vision board can be helpful. To do this, take a piece of poster board and attach pictures of the life you would like to create for yourself. What places would you like to travel to? What home, job or education do you want? Simply adhere pictures and words from magazines/flyers, etc. to your board to represent what you’d like your life to look like. Be creative and have fun with this. Place your vision board where you can look at it periodically to remind you what you’re working towards.
Most of us feel we need to save more for retirement. The good news is you can accomplish your savings goals if you are able to stay motivated. By keeping your focus, having reasonable expectations and surrounding yourself with good advisors, you will be successful.