Saving is hard. Super-duper hard.
We start with the best intentions to squirrel away 20% of our pennies, but then life happens and it doesn’t happen.
We’re surrounded by temptation (hello, social media), a culture of instancy, and constantly climbing living costs. None of which are going anywhere.
To save our savings, we need to be able to set these external factors aside and focus on one internal, very important, factor.
What’s your why?
It’s not something we can summon out of thin air or talk ourselves into. But it can be found.
Because even those of us who aren’t one of those naturally driven, money-motivated people have it in us. We just need a little extra help coaxing it out.
Starting with one simple question: why are you saving?
It’s like anything. Why are you getting up at 5am to go for a run? It’s not for fun (unless you’re one of those people). It’s because you have a 10k coming up and you want to get across the finishing line.
Your why is what gets you up in the morning—or keeps your pennies in the bank.
Make it yours
We’re sure you can rattle off a hundred and one reasons why you should be saving. But unless it’s your reason, it’s not the reason.
So, again, why are you cutting back on iced lattes? Don’t dilute it and start with one, singular reason.
If the answer doesn’t come immediately to mind, pull out a big piece of paper and start a good old fashioned mind map. Brainstorm all the things you’d do if you had the savings, and the one that’s really going to light a fire in your belly will soon become clear.
Have you ever been stuck in a job that makes you miserable but you’re unable to leave because missing even just one pay check would result in unpaid bills/rent?
Are you working overtime just to make enough to cover the basics and not having any personal time to yourself?
Have you been daydreaming about how light you might feel without that AfterPay balance hanging over your head?
Have you been thinking non-stop about a home of your own but not sure how it could ever become a reality?
Suddenly, the latte has lost its flavour.
Make it real
Now that you’ve zeroed in on your why, it’s time to make it real.
What does achieving your savings goal look like? What does it feel like? Daydreaming encouraged here.
Are you eating the biggest scoop of pistachio gelato you could find in Italy? Are you selecting paint colours for your new home?
Make it something you see and feel every day. Here are some of our favourite ways to do it:
- Make a vision board. This doesn’t have to be a physical board, Pinterest boards or even Instagram ‘saved’ collections can be just as good.
- Write a plan. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be as simple as a) research places to stay in Rome, b) save $1,500, c) pay accommodation deposit, d) save another $2,000, and e) book flights.
- Change the name of your savings account to your why. It might be ‘BEACHSIDE HOME.
- Write it on sticky notes and put them on your fridge, your desk, and your bathroom mirror. Slip one inside your wallet. Stick one on your forehead for all we care.
- Create a reminder on your phone that flashes your ‘why’ at you at intervals of the day.
This is how we turn what was a wistful dream into a tangible goal.
Watch your ‘why’ become a ‘when’
Your new why is going make all the difference to your spending habits. Watch it infiltrate your day-to-day life and almost every single decision you make.
Have a ready-made serving of mum’s spaghetti in the fridge but a delivery of dumplings is looking good?
When you realise that $50 Uber Eats order is going to put your Italian summer back a month and you’ll be dipping your toes in a less-than-warm Mediterranean Sea? Mum’s spaghetti is going to start looking real good.
Your why is what makes you stop and take a beat before you buy. And every time you stop and ‘abandon cart’, you get a little bit closer to making it your reality.
You’ll be on your way to financial security and freedom with a comfortable nest egg in no time.
Knowing you need to save is one thing. Actually wanting to is another.
That’s why asking yourself why isn’t just a simple question, but a mighty powerful one too.
For me personally, the WHY that keeps me going and keeps me disciplined with my money is financial freedom. To not be tied down by debt, to have freedom over my time and be able to make choices based on what lights me up not by what is required of me to meet my financial commitments.
Here’s what I want you to do:
- Ask yourself what your why is.
- Make it real with one or all of the exercises we just gave you.
- Put it to the test and start your new savings plan (this time it’s fail-proof, promise).