Proper Motivation for Saving Money
by Heather Hemingway Harvey, editor of Simplify!News online
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Money-Saving Mix Tape
Having a specific long-term goal in mind might make saving money easier for you. Whenever you catch yourself wanting to make a purchase, curb temptation by weighing it against your long-term goal.
My husband and I would like to buy a new house. Even with the equity we have built up in our current home, we still need more money for the down payment. Every time I see the perfect pair of shoes in just the right color or a great toy that would make my children so happy (both of which we have too many), I ask myself, "Which would I rather have: the shoes or a wonderful brand new home?" The house usually wins and my spontaneous purchasing habit is now a little more under control.
Give it a try. Don't just save for the sake of saving. Instead, establish a concrete goal to work toward. Some examples might include sending kids to college, taking early retirement, going on a vacation, or buying a new car or updated computer.
The goal can be big or small, long-term or short. Just make a goal and write it down. Post it on the fridge or tape it to your credit card. The next time your reach for your credit card, weigh the potential purchase against your goal. Which would you rather have?
Take the Next Step
- Sit down with your family and establish a concrete financial goal. Great summer vacation? Paying your house off 5 years early? The goal must be specific to your family. Write it down and put it somewhere that all can see. It might also be a great idea to write it on an index card and keep it in your wallet. That way, every time you reach for some cash or a credit card, you're reminded of what you've been working so hard to achieve. You may just decide that you don't really need to make that purchase after all.
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