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The Psychology of Saving - How to Change Your Money Habits

Cutting expenses is often easier said than done. It’s easy for somebody to say Just cut your expenses! Stop getting a to-go espresso everyday! Eliminating something from your monthly budget, though, may come down to figuring out the best way to change your spending habits. Here are several ideas that may help.


  • Build a list of named goals. Getting motivated to save can seem like a chore when you're not saving for something specific. Consider writing down on paper two or three goals for something specific you want to save for, then open a savings account for each goal. For example, you could start a beach vacation fund, a college savings account, or a new golf clubs account.


  • Give your goals a visual element. Bring your goals to life by creating something that lets you track each one as you save. This could be a savings spreadsheet that breaks down your goal into manageable chunks of weekly savings, or it could be a poster board with sections to fill in as you save money and get closer to your goal. Also print several images of what you want to buy and hang them up around your living quarters.


  • Always pay yourself first. Set up automatic transfers to your savings accounts and pay yourself first. This ensures that your savings become a priority, and that you don't accidentally spend the money on other bills and expenses.


  • Immerse yourself in education. Fill your mind with financial lessons you want to learn about. Read books, listen to podcasts, and read essays from financial experts to help you learn new habits surrounding saving and investing.


  • Make new friends. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn said most people become the average of the five people they spend the most time with. If you’re surrounded with people who are constantly struggling with money, it may be time to expand your social circle. Look for like-minded people by joining online groups centered on financial topics and attending money-related meetups in your area.

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