How I Trick Myself to Save Money
Make Saving Money Easy
Saving money can be hard sometimes when all you want to do is spend your money on the things you want in that moment, be it clothes, chocolate, junk food and what not.
You just want to be able to get what you want in that moment. But that's a very dangerous thing to do because practicing impulsive shopping regularly can make it become a habit and then you'll just be shopping without even thinking about it because you're just so used to buying in the spot that you end up doing it without realising it.
So, I'm going to share ways that you can trick yourself to save that money instead of spending it. These tricks will help you to overcome the impulsive, instant gratification that you are so accustomed to and to bring you to a place where you have a thought process going on that will help you to acknowledge and recognise what's a good, necessary and long term purchase rather than a short term, big burst of pleasure that will go as quick as it came and you'll feel the need to re-experience it.
These tricks are what I've used to make sure that I don't even think about spending money, it will take some time to establish these and to remind yourself to put these tricks into place but once you start using them you will instantly notice that your average spending does drop.
Leave Cards at Home Only Take Cash
This is a simple one and the most obvious one but a lot of us don't do this, we seem to carry our cards with us all the time and we justify it by saying 'oh I might need it in case of an emergency', there are very rare instances that there is an emergency, and if there is you don't need hundreds that are in your card (or hundreds in term of credit on credit cards- even more dangerous), carry £10-£20 and that's more than enough if you need to catch a taxi or grab some essentials that you seem to remember.
There is really no need for you to bring your card with you to work, if you need to buy something that you need for home then carry the cash you need but leave the card at home. You have an hour for lunch and after work you go home, carrying your card encourages you to roam around on your lunch break and once work is over you'll be tempted to wander around. Either bring a packed lunch or bring cash but leave the rest of your money at home.
When you go out just take some cash out prior to going out, using cash instead of card takes some planning beforehand you need to plan if you'll need to spend any money that day and if you will just take out cash beforehand or just keep some cash at home at all times and in a couple of pounds in your bags all the time.
Make it easier for yourself to carry cash around instead of card by having a bit of emergency cash drawn out of the bank and kept in your purses at all time and only using it when absolutely needed, challenge yourself to let that money stay in there and to not use it.
Don't Go Without A Plan Or Only Go When I Have Limited Time
This goes hand in hand with the one above, if you do plan to shop- say you have a shopping day with friends or you need to pick up a few things, make a plan of what you need to buy and be focused only on those items. If you're focused only on those items then you won't be tempted to look at everything else.
Also, just above with the idea of carrying cash if you've planned your shopping day beforehand then take out the estimated cash you'll need to buy those things. If you force yourself to only buy things when you've got a day or a certain time- maybe during a lunch break you need to pick up a few things you've run out and you've planned these purchases beforehand then that'll stop you having spontaneous shopping trips because you're looking forward to a planned day.
Along with planning a certain time, choose that time as when you have limited time, so maybe you can buy the things you've planned near your workplace during your lunch- you have limited time during that lunch break so you don't have time to be loitering around and spending uselessly.
Make a List of Everything You Want
Make a list instead of buying outright, if you take only cash instead of card and only shop during a planned and set day then when you come across an item for which you don't have enough money to buy because you're only carrying a limited amount of cash and/or because you're shopping with only limited time then write down those things you didn't plan to buy.
The mindset to have when making these lists is to tell yourself that you're not refusing to buy yourself these items rather you're noting them and will plan to buy them on your next planned trip- and to be very honest once that rush of setting your eyes on the brand new item wears off you really wouldn't want that item, and if it is something you do want then it gives you the time to think about what kind of features you want in that item. So you'll be making a more thoughtful decision which will allow you to enjoy the purchase you do end up making because you've thought about how that item will fit your needs and what it needs to have.
Something else that I do is take pictures of things I want, if I see a dress in a store then I take a picture of it to remind myself what it looked like and then I think about it later in terms of is it something that I will get a lot of wear out of etc. Taking pictures is an excellent way to keep a list of things you want and to allow you to think about them.
Making lists tricks your mind because you're not refusing it you just need to think about it and you need to plan it.
Use the Tricks Your Mom Used- Say You'll Think About It
This is similar to the one above, always encourage yourself to think about the purchase and that you'll come back to it. This trick or behaviour will save you a lot of money because chances are you won't go back as the pleasure from seeing that item would have worn off and you'll have a more clearer mind that will give you reasons for why that item is not perfect for you e.g. you already have something like that, it's a colour that you're only going to wear once etc.
Never say to yourself you can't have something because that will cause feelings of deprivation and you'll want to just buy it because you don't want to feel deprived or that you're not worthy enough. Instead tell yourself you need to think about it but you'll write it down and keep a note of it so that you can maybe see what else is out there that's better in terms of quality and meeting your needs.
You always want to look for items that will make a difference in your life if you're bringing them in to your life and home, impulse buys rarely add any value because you've not had the time to think through exactly what this item offers you. When you've thought about an item you're more likely to use it and remember it instead of just forgetting about it once you've bought it.
Whenever I Think I Need Anything I Refuse To Think About It
This is a little different to the above, if I look at an item and think that I really want that I immediately just refuse to think about it and move on I just don't even consider buying it and I think this mindset starts even before you go into a shop, if you've said to yourself you're not buying anything because there's nothing you need then you won't even contemplate buying an item because you already know you're not purchasing.
This will work better if you walk around with cash instead of your cards because it makes making that decision to not purchase anything easier. If you don't have the money to buy something then you're not tempted or even thinking to buy it, so it makes such a difference if you only go out with the money you need for the day. I find this works really well if you are having a shopping day out with friends of if you're just going out, carrying only cash means that that other people can't really pressure you to buy anything because I know how you can fall into pressure and then regret it afterwards, I've bought things because my friends encouraged me to and then I regret it afterwards- if you just tell them oh I've only got cash then they really can't pressure you.
It's really important to have and set clear intentions because if you don't then you'll be likely to spend so really set intentions with your money and your money habits, if you have the right mindset then you'll make the right decisions. Buying things that make you happy is a great thing but its being intentional about what you're buying, how that affects your finances, how will it make you feel afterwards and will it make you happy/ make a difference in your life. It's about setting clear boundaries that are create healthy spending habits instead of destructive ones.
© 2020 Huma Ikbal