Saving money is essential, but not everyone is doing it. You might have good intentions but can’t seem to follow through on the saving part. If so, you can learn to switch to a saving money mindset and boost your financial situation significantly.
Learning to save money means figuring out what you need to do, how to do it, and how to stick to it. You likely already know how to open a savings account, but there’s much more to it after that. It isn’t about being smart or having willpower, but it’s about how you handle the environmental cues around you.
You can read all of the budget advice you want, but it won’t help if you don’t know how to make your intentions happen. Tips like cutting expenses and living below your means are great, but they don’t help you develop a saving money mindset. You must train yourself to naturally make choices to save money if you ever want to put the tips to good use.
Ten Brain Hacks to Help Switch to a Money Saving Mindset
Changing your perspective and taking action are essential steps to developing the best mindset. A money saving mindset requires psychological changes to break bad spending habits.
1. Learn from Past Mistakes When Switching to a Money Saving Mindset
We’ve all made financial mistakes in the past. All that you can do is learn from the situation and work to overcome the effects. Then, you can keep that wisdom in mind throughout your life so that you never make the same mistake again.
Move on from your mistakes, but don’t forget about the damage it caused. Most importantly, don’t let it cause further damage to your financial wellbeing. It’s not too late to make changes, so don’t let your past make you feel defeated.
If you ever encountered financial issues due to over-spending, you can learn from the mistake by tracking your spending. Even better, try breaking the habit of spending money daily. Commit to taking a break from spending, allowing your mind to open up to new ideas.
Another common mistake that people make is not prioritizing where their money goes. You might look at your bank account and think you have extra spending money and then fall short when it comes time to pay a bill. Once you get hit with fees for late payments, you’ll realize your mistake and hopefully learn from it.
As long as you learn a valuable lesson, you won’t fall into the same trap again. Use the knowledge to develop a money-saving mindset and promote positive results from now on. Learning from mistakes helps rewire your brain to avoid the situation from occurring again.
2. A Money Saving Mindset Means Gaining Control of Small, Frequent Purchases
You might not realize how much money you spend on small, frequent purchases, but they add up. Every time you eat out or buy a coffee, it decreases your ability to save. It might not seem like much at the time, but it adds up to a decent amount.
Track your expenses and note every small purchase you make over a specific time. You might be shocked to see the number, and you’ll recognize why you’re struggling to save. However, it isn’t as easy as telling yourself you will stop with the purchases because you also must change your environment.
One thing you can do is unlink your credit or debit card from apps you tend to spend the most on. Entering your card information each time adds a process that acts as a barrier. The more work you have to do to buy something, the less likely you will go through with the purchase.
Another option is to limit the number of times you can buy something each week. If you buy coffee at a drive-thru daily, try limiting yourself to only a few times a week instead. Your brain can better process the number of times you make something rather than the amount of money you spend.
3. Treat Your Savings Account Like a Bill
After you figure out your monthly bills, determine how much is leftover. Consider your savings account another statement, and put your extra money towards your future. You can apply the funds to your savings or retirement, but don’t go out and blow it on things you don’t need.
Try not to think of it as extra money because you can always use it for your future. Saving for your future is just as important as paying your other bills. When you treat it that way, it helps you develop a saving money mindset.
If it helps, have this money come directly out of your paycheck and into a savings account that isn’t easy to access. Then it’ll be harder to put the money toward frivolous things or withdraw it for something else. When it comes directly out of your paycheck, you likely won’t even think about spending it.
4. Think of Your Income in Terms of Weekly Pay
Studies show that it is harder to save when you think of your monthly salary instead of your weekly income. People who view their weekly income tend to be better at budgeting, allowing them to improve their finances.
The amount of money made no difference in the results, and it seemed to be all about how they viewed their salary. This environmental cue makes a huge difference. If you want to save more money and you currently view your monthly income, start looking at it as a weekly number.
5. Wait Fifteen Minutes Before Making Purchases
If you’re tempted to buy something, give it 15 minutes before you make the purchase. The impulse loses its effectiveness after 15 minutes, so you might not spend the money after all. If you still want to purchase in 15 minutes, you can consider it safe to buy.
By giving yourself 15 minutes, you’re more likely to save money than if you purchased things impulsively. If you can, it’s even better to wait a full day or a week before making purchases.
When the waiting time is up, you likely won’t want to buy anything at all. The emotions tied to making purchases wane quickly, so giving yourself time is the best way to train your brain.
6. Use Your Birthday to Your Advantage
Transition moments are the perfect time to develop a money-saving mindset. Having age-specific financial goals can help you build your savings and hit the targets. When you have a date set, it helps make the changes you need to reach your goals.
If your birthday is coming up, set that as your date for making these beneficial changes. It’s a start to a new year of your life, and you’ll have the motivation to make it the best one yet. A fresh start always makes things seem easy as it’s a new season in your life, and you’re more open to adapting.
It’ll help if you put a date on your schedule for the day or week before your birthday. At that time, spend some undistracted time setting your goals and determining how you’ll make the necessary changes. As you define your goals, make sure you focus on developing achievable ones that you can realistically reach.
Having specific goals before your birthday gives you a purpose and direction for money management. It’s easy to lose focus when you don’t have detailed plans and dates in place.
7. Minimize Your Financial Accounts
Having multiple financial accounts can cause trouble in your money-saving efforts. They’re harder to keep track of, and it’s tricky to use multiple accounts in a way that helps long-term.
Plus, handling multiple accounts can be overwhelming, and you’ll quickly get distracted trying to go back and forth. Having many financial reports makes it harder to recognize spending habits or progress.
You’ll have quick access to your overall financial situation by minimizing your accounts. You’ll know where you stand at every moment, and you’ll see when you’re making progress towards your goals. These easy visuals help with developing a money-saving mindset.