Part of our adulting duties as twentysomethings is to get a grasp on our finances. Meaning, not filling our wallets with retail cards that encourage us to spend money on things we might not even need and not getting into unnecessary debt. Rather, we're supposed to be getting our finances in order to make sure we understand our financial standing, make goals, get to work on paying off debts, and save and plan for the future.
There are various ways you can save money, some examples include: cutting off your hands to make it more difficult to go through transactions, hiding our wallets once a week for a few days, freezing our own bank accounts, and/or joining a monastery and tossing our wallets in the Amazon river. Those are the most obvious physical steps to take to avoid spending money, but if those seem too extreme to you, you want want to consider some potentially longer-lasting mental tricks to save money — those will help you develop a healthier relationship with your money, rather than just hiding from it.
Because lets be honest, you could dig a 12 foot hole in the ground and bury your wallet, but you'll dig it up with your teeth quicker than you will leave it for saving. These are five ways to mentally trick yourself into saving money:
Pay In Cash
According to a study by Avni M. Shah, an assistant marketing professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough, the best way to understand the value of your money is to pay in cash. This practice makes purchasing a much more personal experience and in return makes you more appreciative and protective over what you buy. Try leaving your card at home and working with only cash. See how it chances your attitude towards spending.
Keep A Record
Rather than just checking out your spending statement online every few days, take the time to write down every single thing that you spend money on each day. Keep a special diary just for that. The psychological process of having to confront your spending will surely inspire you to tone it down. Especially when you realize how much money you've spend on frozen coffees just to use the bathroom at your local coffee shop.
Set A Daily Budget
On any given day, your expenses might be soaring or skimming. Try to pick a number that you think you might be able to stick to each day. Once you've settled on a number, do whatever you can to stay under it. Maybe that means buying a cheaper toilet paper brand. Maybe that means making coffee at home. Maybe that means waiting on buying the bathing suit and taking care of an electric bill first. See how long you can stick to it.
Create A Reward System
If you save yourself money by doing your own laundry, or switching out your lightbulbs to fluorescents, or making your own smoothies, you can take yourself to the movies or go out to eat. Make sure that when you're treating yourself, it's because you've done something thrifty to deserve it.
Get Excited About Saving
Make a list of all the things you have to save for. Potential medical bills, unforeseen auto issues, a bachelorette trip coming up. Once you start saving away for these things, you'll start to feel really powerful and adult. Saving will actually feel better then spending and when you realize that is when you've shifted your mentality for good.