Let’s face it, saving money is tough. Just when your personal bank account begins to look healthy, an unplanned and totally unexpected event can throw all your time and effort of saving into disarray. From a sale at your favourite shoe store to an unexpected bill, it can sometimes feel like saving is harder than it should be.
Fortunately, there is no need to despair! While your conscious self may not be the most reliable with money, deep down there is a frugal liberator just dying to get out.
Here are five ways you can subconsciously trick yourself into ditching those bad money habits.
Consider prices as time spent at work
Before handing over your credit card for that shiny new gadget you just have to own, take a look at the hidden value on the price tag.
Rather than considering purchases in terms of cash value, try calculating how many hours at work it would take to earn that amount. You will soon find yourself deciding that a full day’s wages is too high a price to pay for a new toy.
Don’t go cold turkey
Many budgets focus on what you should give up in order to spend less, but quitting your daily caffeine hit cold turkey can quickly lead to you dropping your savings strategy within a few short weeks.
It’s hard to stop buying the things you enjoy, so giving it all up in one go makes budgeting seem like a chore. Instead, consider minimising the amount you spend but stopping short of eliminating the trip to the coffee shop altogether.
This way, you may grow to appreciate your cafe mocha-latte frappe even more!
Sleep on it
If you find yourself often making impulse purchases, you could benefit from slowing down your approach to shopping.
When you find a new outfit, electronic or toy that you desperately want, don’t buy it straight away. Go home, go to bed and spend a night thinking about it.
Taking some time away to consider the implications of the purchase will help put things into perspective, giving you time to decide that maybe you can actually live without a thirteenth pair of red leather boots.
Weigh up the purchase and the cash equivalent
If you don’t have time to sleep on a purchase, try this quick alternative. Picture a stranger standing in front of you. In one hand, he is holding the item you want to purchase – in the other hand is the cash equivalent.
Which hand appeals to you more? When you find yourself reaching for the cash, it’s time to put down the product and walk away.
Ignore extra money
Whether you’ve just received an unexpected promotion at work or come into a surprise windfall, the best idea is to pretend this money just doesn’t exist.
By ignoring any extra cash you receive, this money can quietly sit in your savings account while you comfortably live on your existing budget.
Do you have any unique tricks for saving money?