Self-Control And Saving Money In Todays Economy
There is no doubt that there is a strong relationship between self-control and saving money. Generally speaking, the less self-control you have, the less money you are able to save. Saving, in this context, refers to saving money on purchases, as well as money set aside in savings accounts.
It is not really your fault if you have a hard time saving money. With so many cool things to buy and the widespread availability of easy credit, you would need almost superhuman willpower to resist every single buying impulse. The sellers know exactly how to trip your psychological triggers, and you are, in effect, at their mercy.
If you are like most people then you have a sort of built-in money thermostat. This thermostat tells you what amount of money you need to feel comfortable. Having too little causes you to scramble to get more, but having an amount above your comfort zone causes you to spend it. For example, let’s say you feel comfortable having $500 (in checking, savings, or cash). When you dip down to $300 you start doing whatever you can to get back up to $500 or so. This is where self-control and saving money start working for you. However, if you unexpectedly get up to $2000 (a bonus check, gift, etc.), then you start spending it until you are back down to about $500.
Most of this process happens subconsciously, so the trick is learning how to overcome this natural tendency. The primary way of doing this is by making a budget. Doing this means you are telling your money what to do, as opposed to spending it freely and without much thought. Budgeting sounds like a chore, and to some people it is, but it is a useful tool for getting your finances under control. You can use whatever budgeting method you like, as long as you budget your money ahead of time and account for every penny.
When it comes to self-control and saving money, reviewing your budget for problem areas is vital. Look at your budget as objectively as possible and see if there are areas where you are spending more than you absolutely have to. Sometimes just writing out a budget will make problem areas jump out, but there will also be areas where you may have to do a bit more work.
It’s possible to save money on virtually everything, but it will take commitment. The question is how do you get that commitment when you don’t have a lot of self-control? The answer is that you have a big enough reason why. Why do you want to save money? If it’s because “all the experts tell me I should”, then you are going to struggle. On the other hand, if your reason is something like, “I love my children and I want to do the best I can to give them a secure future”, then you will find self-control becomes easier.
Self-control and saving money are not always easy, but they are always possible.