“I need help saving money.”
“Help me save money.”
Does that sound familiar? Is that you? Whether you are actually asking the question or googling “ways to save money” or “help me save money,” or if this is just part of your inner monologue, then this post is for you.
I Need Help Saving Money
This is for people who have money but need help actually saving it. If you ever look at your bank account and think, “I need help saving money,” then this post is for you. It may seem that as soon as you get any money, it slips right out of your fingers or bank account. There never seems to be any money left at the end of the month to put away. Not even a dime. Well, I am here to help you. This post will teach you how to save money. This will help you save money.
You need to lie. Yup, you heard me. You need to lie to yourself.
I find that whatever money I have to spend gets spent. If I have $100 to spend on groceries, then I will spend $100 on groceries. This is the same whether it is on food, clothing, toys, Yom Tov, holidays, etc., the money you have will get spent.
Tricking yourself to help save money
The trick is never to have that money in the first place. Lie to yourself about the amount of money you have. But you have to be really convincing to do that. I’m not dumb! I can easily look into my bank account and see how much money I have. And then that money will get spent. So the money cannot be in your bank account.
If your money is in your bank account, no matter how many spreadsheets you use for your budget or how many times you calculated how much you should be spending, that money will be gone before you can blink. It doesn’t help to make a budget, and I hope you have the willpower to follow through. You don’t have the willpower. That’s why you need help saving money.
I have no willpower to save money.
This is not meant to shame anyone. I have no willpower for certain things either. For example, I am always looking at my phone. The news, Twitter, what app groups. It is very addicting. So when I am trying not to look at my phone, I don’t keep my phone near me. That would be setting myself up to fail. Of course, I will look at my phone.
No, what I have to do is put my phone in the other room. I have to use the charger in my bedroom to not charge in the living room where I am hanging with my kids. If I have to get up and walk to another room to get my phone, I’m less likely to just do mindless scrolling. I will only get up and walk to where the phone is if I really need it. This is how to break all bad habits. Don’t just assume you will be able to do it- actually, take action or a step to make it happen.
It is the same thing with money. The money has to be out someplace where you can’t necessarily be bothered to get it just because something caught your eye. You have to really need it. By the time you finish all the steps to actually get the money, you will have decided that it’s not really worth it.
If you are trying to eat healthier, you don’t keep unhealthy foods in the house. You stock the house with healthy foods and hope that your cravings for unhealthy food won’t survive a trip to the store. After all, getting dressed and going somewhere just to get a snack might not be worth it. While you are doing those things, you may come to your senses and remind yourself of all the reasons you want to eat healthier.
Do It Right Away
The first thing I do when I get my paycheck is transfer money into a savings account. In fact, this is automated, so I don’t actually have to do this myself. So the amount in my bank account does not include my savings portion. It is just not there.
To access that money, I have to initiate a transfer from a different bank. Not only does this take a few steps on the computer, but it takes a few days for the transfer to go through. I am only doing that if I really need the money. Of course, there have been many times when I really needed the money. So I did transfer the money back into my checking account. That’s what the money is for. Life happens.
The Best Way to Start Saving Money
This is particularly important when you receive a lump sum of money. Whether it’s a gift, a bonus, a tax refund, or a stimulus check, you have to take the money away from yourself. Lie to yourself about the money. It’s not yours. You don’t have it. Take it immediately and put it in your savings account.
What if you do actually need it one day? Then you transfer the money that you need back into your checking account. But it will take time and energy to do that. We don’t like putting energy into things. If spending money takes effort, then we won’t do it.
People try to act in their own self-interest. If you have time to stop and think about what you are doing, you are less likely to act on impulse and act in a good way for you in the long run. Quick decisions are usually made on impulse rather than logic.
Therefore, even though you know that you want to save money, you may act impulsively and prevent yourself from doing so. But as soon as you slow down and take a breath, you will remember what you really want: to save money. (Remember how you yelled, I need help saving money? Well, you want to be successful in saving money. You just need a little help to make that happen. )
I call this playing mind games with myself. I did this when I got a raise by pretending that I didn’t get a raise for a long while. I still lived on my pre-raise salary while putting all the extra in a savings account.
Don’t try to tell yourself that you will put all “leftover” or “extra” money into savings. It won’t happen. There won’t be anything leftover. You have to do this first. Immediately save money, and then you can always reverse the transaction. There is a reason why you need help saving money- don’t try to outsmart yourself. All you will be doing is sabotaging yourself.
Managing your money is learning how to put money in savings. You need to have a lot of money in your savings account to get out of the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. If you do have the money but are just not saving it, you need help saving money. Setting savings goals – which has to include saving for emergencies and retirement- and then creating a spending plan to reach that saving goal is the key. You need to create a budget and then stick to it- with a line item for savings.