You know you need to start saving more and spending less. You worry about retirement. You worry about paying for housing. You worry that your car will break down and you won’t be able to pay to fix it.
So many of us feel trapped by our finances. Whether it’s debt, high expenses, or not saving enough, worrying about money is one of our top stresses.
But, when push comes to shove, and we need to make real-time decisions about our finances, we often choose poorly. Instead of passing on that $5 coffee, we chalk it up as a one time expense for a treat we truly deserve. Instead of cooking something at home, we go through the drive-thru…because we’re exhausted.
How to Change the Way You See Your Money Choices
The little choices we make each day truly add up over time. We all know this on some level, but it’s really tough to consistently make good choices day in and day out.
Here are some things you can do to change the way you see your money:
- Track your expenses for the next month. There are apps you can use to do this, or you can just write it down each time you buy something. Just the act of having to track expenses will probably get you to spend less. The key here is to stick with your tracking and not give up!
- Figure out your net worth. We didn’t do this until this year. I think we were a little anxious about what we would find out. Knowing the truth will allow you to take action!
- Think about when you’d like to retire, and what you’d like to do during retirement.
- Start figuring out how much money you’d need to have saved away to retire according to your plans.
Two sources that REALLY motivated me when we were going through the steps above were the book Your Money or Your Life and Mr. Money Mustache’s blog. I think it’s easier to understand Mr. Money Mustache if you read Your Money or Your Life first.
The best part of going through the steps above is that it will make you start to think about how much of your energy you’re expending on things that aren’t really a big deal in the grand scheme of things – stuff like magazines, coffees, and even expensive cars.
Make Money Motivation Part of Your Routine
Making changes isn’t easy, but setting up a routine for yourself where you are constantly reminded and motivated to make good financial decisions can do a lot to help you stay motivated.
Here are some things you can incorporate into your routine that will serve as reminders and motivators to stay on track with your financial plans:
- Bookmark some of your favorite sites that focus on frugality, savings, and smart money management. Visit those sites when you have the urge to shop!
- Check out books about frugality and personal finance from the library (where it’s free!)
- Find forums of online groups that align with your financial goals. Just make sure you don’t spend too much time in these groups – they’re addictive!
- Sign up for the Saverchic newsletter! I’ll send you regular updates with new ideas, motivation and inspiration. You can signup here: