Have you ever started saving for something, then immediately doubted why you were doing it? I’m at a constant struggle with saving. No matter what I do, the voice of “spend money now” seems to always whisper in my ear.
It’s something we all face. Deep down in our hearts, and pockets, we know saving is good for us.
Still it’s hard some days. A lot of the time it’s easier to say, “Well, I’m just not good at saving money.” and move on.
The truth is, that most of the Savers aren’t as together as it would seem.
I know a lot of Spenders who look at Savers and think:
“Why is it so easy for them?”
The truth is that it is not always easy.
Sometimes it’s downright hard. Often it feels impossible to resist the spending-in-the-moment urges.
Whether you are a long-time Saver, or you are just starting out saving for something, here are some thoughts that you will probably come across and how to handle them.
Thought #1: What if I die tomorrow?
When we were paying of the mortgage, every time we put a payment down I would want to use it to buy something else (insert newest tech gadget here… man why do I want an Apple Watch so badly?!?).
I had this thought EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
Instead I would put the money down on the house and think: “Well if I die tomorrow this will suck. Am I delaying my spending for something that I may never get to? You can’t take it with you right?”
It’s a bad chain of thoughts. Because in reality if you die tomorrow, nothing is going to matter to you.
Dead people don’t have thoughts.
(or Apple watches)
How to overcome the “What if” syndrome
Quiet your lizard brain that is self-sabotaging you. Stay the course. Worrying about death and it’s impact on your saving, is as useful to you as solving algebra by chewing bubblegum.
I.E.: It doesn’t help
You know who will be around tomorrow? You will, most likely, and the day after that and so on.
(DISCLAIMER: FAMILYMONEYPLAN.COM DOES NOT GUARANTEE YOU WILL LIVE BEYOND THS SENTENCE. Still here? Well done! Keep reading.)
While those days tick on by you will be getting closer to the goal. When you hit your savings goal it is sweet.
I mean, sweeter-than-anything-else-you-could-have-bought-in-the-moment sweet.
You’re on the right track, just keep going down the path.
Thought #2: Is Saving Really Worth It?
When you are saving for something, like a big trip, financial freedom, or paying off the mortgage. This thought will creep up over and over again.
It’s soooooo annoying.
Don’t bother trying to stop it. I’ve tried, it doesn’t work/help.
Anyone who has ever saved money, has this question pop up into their mind.
Saving is worth it, it’s just that the end result feels so far away… and everything else that this money could be spent on is in front of you right here, right now. (wow, totally had a Fatboy Slim flashback… ok fine and a Jesus Jones flashback too)
That’s what makes saving mooney so hard. It’s because we live in the moment. The future at best is always uncertain, but that’s why you need to stay the course.
How to overcome the “Is it Worth it?” thought
You know saving is really worth it, you are just not focusing on the right thing.
Focus on that growing savings account full of cash. Watch it get bigger, and Bigger and BIGGER!
Focus on how great it will feel when you are able to get what you are working towards.
Focus on HOW AWESOME YOU ARE FOR SAVING MONEY!
You’re a Rockstar, Keep on Rockin’ (your savings account)!
Thought #3: How Come Nobody Else Feels This Way?
Here’s the short answer, they do feel this way. You are not alone!
Everyone who is saving for something has this thought.
It’s perfectly normal.
You aren’t weird, unusual or strange.
No one talks about it for some reason.
Except yours truly.
I’m here to tell you, you are not alone (crap Michael Jackson flashback,.. they are coming it fast and furious today.)
What’s important is that you carry on with your savings plan.
I’d be willing to bet that everyone is thinking this thought at some point so don’t worry about it. Take a deep breath and keep on saving.
How to overcome the “Am I Alone In This?” thought…
There are a lot of people out there who are going through the same thoughts as you. It can do you good to get around people that are like minded.
I would suggest joining a group that fosters and encourages saving.
If you are looking for a group with great people and who celebrate savings I invite you to join our Save the Savings Challenge group. Even if you aren’t a part of the challenge it’s a great group to see people actively saving and celebrating their savings.
Simple go here and click on Join Group. Can’t wait to see you there!
If I don’t have a really clear goal and plan for my savings, I lose all motivation! This year we are taking a sabbatical and decided not to save till we decide our next goals. Without goals I really care about, I will just find awesome experiences to spend our cash on. Aka we are going to theme park today with friends!
I hope you had a blast at the theme parks. It’s so true we were talking this weekend all about how we needed to have a plan for our savings and couple that with a reward system to keep us going for the long term. A sabbatical sounds so cool. Good for you!
I really like the first one. “What if I die tomorrow?”. That was probably one of the biggest excuses that I struggled with and probably still struggle with to some extent when paying off debt/saving money for the future. I like your response to this. The truth of the matter is that many of us will live long lives and what better way to reward your future self than to retire with financial dignity and well being in tact. Good post!
Thats Pam. Even today I was having these struggles. It’s not easy to save sometimes, especially when these thoughts/doubts keep coming up.