When it feels like your life consists of bills to pay and surprise expenses, it’s very difficult to even think about saving. But if you don’t think about it you will never actually do it.
You know you must save, right? Yes, yes, yes, you say, but how can I save if I don’t have any money left? That’s the problem right there: savings should be the first thing you do, not the last. And that’s where mindset comes into the picture.
Your thoughts, or mindset, determine your behaviour. For instance, if you believe that a healthy body is important, you will make time to exercise and choose healthy foods more often than unhealthy ones. See how mindset impacts actions?
The same applies to how you manage your money in general and how you save (or not) specifically.
Most of us think that saving is something you do once you have extra money. The weird thing is that once you start saving, you create that extra money because you treat your money differently.
Let’s look at practical ways to build a savings mindset:
- The first step is to decide that you want to be financially successful. That doesn’t mean saying you want to be rich (rich means different things to different people) – you have to be far more specific. Maybe it means never running out of money before the end of the month, or it means never lying awake at night worrying about money. The better you define financial success, the more real it is and the more likely you are to do what you need to do (including saving) to achieve it.
- Discover what is important to you. This is your values and your focus – not what your friends or parents or colleagues do or tell you to do. Once you know what your own values are, you can make decisions that support those values and do things that bring those values to life. Again, this will include what you do with your money.
- Uncover what saving means to you. If you equate saving to giving up nice things, you
won’t be motivated to do it. But if you can link saving to peace of mind and dreams
coming true, it will inspire you.
- Practice gratitude. When you remember what you already have, you are less likely to
want more stuff, which means you spend less and have more to save. Be intentional
about your gratitude practice by, for example, keeping a gratitude journal, forming a
gratitude WhatsApp group with a few friends, or even doing a social media post every day about your gratitudes.
- Challenge yourself to stop making excuses. Take the time and energy you invest in
finding reasons why you can’t save and use it to find reasons why you can. It can be a
fun exercise that can really change your mindset and get you going.
The mindset with which you approach life determines how you show up and how you behave. Try changing yours and see what happens with your savings.