Do you need help saving money?
“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
Some people have no problem saving money. They regularly put aside savings and are good. Some people literally do not have a dime to put into savings. If you are any of those people than this really won’t help you.
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.
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 than I will spend $100 on groceries. This is the same whether is on food, clothing, toys, Yom Tov, holidays, etc. the money that you have will get spent.
Tricking yourself to help save money
The trick is to never 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 in 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 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 to not 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 so that the phone is not charging 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.
It is the same thing with money. The money has to be out someplace where you can’t necessarily be bothered to go get 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 make 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 what 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 than 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, then you are less likely to act on impulse and act in a way that is good 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 as well, 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.
Do you ever lie to yourself or make it difficult for yourself to fail?