4 Tricks to Change Your Attitude Toward Saving Money

100-dollar bills are stuck in the sand at the beach
(Adobe Stock)

Sometimes a slight shift in perspective can yield big results when you're trying to save money.

For example, a lot of folks hear the word "budget" and immediately get defensive, believing the next words they will hear are going to be restrictive ones, such as "cut, reduce, trim." However, the same people may readily embrace those same concepts when they are positioned in the context of a "spending plan." With saving and investing, that type of mental shift might be accomplished by looking at them from a more results-oriented perspective.

Here are four ways to do it:

1. Give Your Saving Accounts Nicknames

If you look at your savings account and get excited, you're probably unique. But what if you opened your mobile app or went online and nicknamed that savings account, "2024 Hawaii Vacation"? You just might feel a little shiver as you watch the funds accumulate. Several years ago, my household set up several savings accounts and have updated the nicknames on the accounts in accordance with our current short-term goals. The names have changed, but each paycheck, we automatically add money to the various accounts, and when we look at them, we see more than numbers.

2. Paint a Powerful Mental Picture

The phrase, "Patience is a virtue" is key to financial security, but it flies in the face of society's push for instant gratification. Saving or investing is the antithesis of today's "culture of now." One way to overcome that pressure is to spend time, effort and emotional energy creating your vision of the proverbial pot at the end of the rainbow. The idea of saving for retirement may sound boring. On the other hand, traveling the world to play the top golf courses on each continent -- or do whatever floats your boat -- is not. Create your vision, then keep it front and center, and you'll have a savings purpose that's fun to think about and lessens the challenge of forgoing something today in pursuit of your goal.

3. Reward Yourself for Savings Successes

Celebrating is fun, and doing it in a responsible way will help you stay on track to achieve your longer-term goals. It could mean a casual dinner out after you've met your quarterly debt-elimination goal or a weekend getaway in lieu of a big vacation this year to pave the way for savings that will fund your dream vacation next year. It's always fun to get a pat on the back, so give yourself one for the good work you're doing.

4. Leverage Easy Opportunities

I started this article by discussing the negative connotations surrounding budgeting. Unfortunately, cutting back is often the only lever available to increase savings. However, a pay raise, promotion, side hustle, bonus or windfall all offer opportunities to save or invest money that don't require sacrifice. You get the upside of increased savings without the downside of having to feel the pain of cutting out part of your spending.

Look at shifting your savings perspective to power you to the places you want to go and things you want to do.

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