Cash The Checks Personal Finance Blog

Saving Money Is Not As Hard As You Think

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Saving money. While this phrase is not as hated or feared as ‘root canal’, it does come close. Who, after all, likes being told to ease up or stop on one’s spending?

The truth is, since childhood, we’ve been trained to want the good and sweet stuff first. When we started earning our own money we started eating dessert first. We bought stuff we could barely afford and moved into homes that were too big for us.¬†Sadly, it only takes a bad financial turn of events to remind us that eating dessert first is not a good idea-both for now and for the future.

Our parents, after all, are right-we need to eat our veggies first before we can treat ourselves to a nice dessert later on Who wants to chew on high-fiber foods that taste like sticks when there is a sweet, juicy, delectable chocolate cake nearby? The sad truth is that we have to sacrifice and do the unpleasant stuff before we can enjoy the rewards. That is the iron law of life. It is not going to go anywhere. This is not going to change anytime soon.

And one of the toughest examples of this ‘sacrifice first before dessert’ rule is saving money. Saved money is money you didn’t consume. Instead of eating it, wasting it, or using to pay bills, you save it. It really is that simple. It is the money you set aside. The problem people have with savings is that they think it is impossible.

Here’s an easy guide on how to save money like a champ.

Decide

If you want to save money, you have to decide that it is worth your time and effort to save money. You have to decide to save for the future. This is easy to do on a mental basis but you have to follow up. Real decisions mean real actions. This means you have to actually start after you decide. So, think it over then decide if you want to save money.

Baby steps

Next, resolve to save 1% of your daily income. If you make $100 a day, save $1 a day. Keep this up for the next 3 days. More likely than not, you won’t feel $1 a day taken off your daily expenses and daily cash burn. On the fourth day, ramp it up to $2 a day. You still won’t feel it. Keep it up until the eighth day then ramp it up to $4 a day. Extend your ramp up schedule to 10 days. Only after you have passed ten days do you ramp up to $8 a day. Keep this up for another 10 days. After this, you have to ramp up slowly-increase by 25 cents and ramp up only after one month. Keep doing this until you save $20 a day consistently.

The power of momentum

When you use the baby steps method above, you get over your initial mental resistance to saving and you gather momentum.  It becomes obvious that saving is not as hard as you thought. You become more eager to save, and your spending habits change. Eventually, the saved percentage of your daily income becomes permanent, and you end up with a nice little nest egg.

Comments

Jeremy R on 04/11/13

I personally save by saving my money in cash form. This way I can put it away PHYSICALLY and refrain from spending it.


Sophia on 04/26/13

Jeremy has a point.
The best this I ever did was joining a ‘Keep the Change’ with my bank.
It rounds up every uneven dollar amount ($11.25 to $12.00) and automatically adds the extra change ($.75) it to my savings account.


Michelle on 07/25/14

I think seeing positive results via bank statements or other means is very powerful when it comes down to long term saving commitments.


Edwin C. on 08/12/14

Yes it certainly gives you motivation to keep going when you see progress on your statements.


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