Lay the psychological groundwork

  • A lot of financial advice focuses on knowing about money, interest rates, tax, etc. However, only look at it after deciding what your financial goals are.
  • Your money is a tool, so first look at what you want, then see how to use your money to fit you. If you learn about money first, there is a danger that you'll end up as a tool by your money.
  • Be mindful of peer pressure. There is always something else to buy that will make you feel special. The list is endless, but your money is limited.
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Consider what you are saving for. If you're not sure what you really want in the long term, you can try a thought experiment:

  • Research suggests contemplating death can change your financial priorities. What would the future 'you' tell the current 'you' about what was really important?
  • Imagine appearing on a TV show in 15 to 20 years. What would you like to say were your greatest achievements or most meaningful moments?

Describe your answer, draw it, get a clear image of it. When you want to buy something, look at your values and decide if you really want to spend the money.

To change your habits, you first need to know your current habits and then decide which ones you should change.

  • Think where you are wasting money on habits of behaviour that don't support your goals, such as automatic renewal subscriptions.
  • Another habit that prompts spending is feeling depressed or having some spare money.

Replace unhelpful habits with more constructive ones, such as putting money aside on payday. Pick only one or two habits to change at a time.

Find a balance between your immediate needs and your more optional desires so that you can stay happy and motivated while setting aside enough toward your long-term goals.

On the one side, we often think something is essential when it's optional. But it is as common for people to save while neglecting urgent essentials. The key is balance and planning. So remember to set exciting short term goals along the path to your big dreams.

People don't save even if they can

People want to save for many reasons: for unforeseen circumstances, retirement, holidays, or to avoid debt. Others think it is a good idea to save because they should.

While not everyone is in a position to save, of those who can save and knowing its benefits, few do it. According to Money Charity, about half of all Britons don't have money saved to fall back on. In the United States, the average saving rates were around 7.6 per cent in 2019.

Underlying many of our difficulties with saving is that we only pay attention to our most immediate needs rather than prioritising a long-term saving strategy. We may also have an impulse to keep purchasing items to show off, such as a new phone (even if your existing one is adequate).

You're more likely to save if you do these things:

  • Consider what your values and long-term goals are.
  • Develop a sense of balance. (weighing your current needs against your future plans).
  • Build new monetary habits.

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Watch your savings grow

The first step to start saving money is to figure out how much you spend. Keep track of all your expenses—that means every coffee, household item and cash tip.

Say goodbye to debt.

Debt robs you of your income! So, it’s about time you get rid of that debt.

There are five different types of financial personalities, each of them having their own set of values and outlook towards money:

  • The Big Spenders: The ones who place a high value in their possessions, and identify their worth with the things they can buy, at any cost.
  • The Savers: The conservative spenders who don’t view spending their money as a worthwhile activity. They don’t take big risks on investments, preferring to save.
  • The Shoppers: These are the emotional and habitual spenders, always wanting to spend money on things they might not even need.
  • The Debtors: These are the unemotional spenders who do not care about how much money they have, usually spending more than they can afford to.
  • The Investors: The investors are consciously aware of their finances, and invest with an eye towards the future. They have impeccable spending habits and a good credit score.

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