Why is saving money so difficult? There are a million reasons out there, but for me it’s because choosing to save money means choosing to delay gratification. Like the average human-being I want instant gratification. It’s easy, it feels good (at the time) and it requires no self-discipline. But our credit counseling advice is to always make a point to save.
Lately I have been trying harder than ever to avoid the devil on my shoulder that could care less if I ever save enough money in an emergency fund, for a vacation, or even for a house someday.
Devil says: “It’s on sale (or it’s such a great deal) you’re going to regret it if you don’t jump on this opportunity right now.”
Did you come to the store planning to buy this pair of shoes? Did you do your research and decide that, because of this sale, this is a good time to buy that purse that you have been saving for? If the answer is no (which in my case it usually is) then you are about to make an impulse buy. A spur of the moment, unplanned decision to buy, made just before a purchase. These types of purchases often lead to a feeling of guilt or disappointment in the long run. So tell that devil that he’s wrong! You’ll actually regret it if you DO jump on that opportunity right now.
Devil says: You’ve already completely blown your budget this month anyway, so why not just finish it off?
Ok, you’ve fallen off the wagon, it happens to everyone at some point. Are you really going to deem it a lost cause and let the wagon run you over? Continuing to buy things won’t help, and you could wind up in credit card debt. Instead, let this month be a lesson that inspires you to wake up tomorrow and start fresh!
Devil Says: “Your tax return is coming soon or you might be getting that bonus at work. Just put it on the credit card now and pay it once you get that money”
Do you actually physically have that money yet? NO! Spending money you don’t have (or in this case don’t have YET) is just never a good idea. You are obviously going to spend money on things that you want in your life. But the right way to do so is by planning, researching, and saving. Once the money is actually in your hands and you’ve thought it through, that is when you should buy yourself a new iPhone.
Devil says: “You’ve been busting your butt at work lately. You deserve that new T.V.”
Sure, you’ve been working hard lately, but did your paycheck triple as a result? I wish! As hard as it may be in this case, you’re better off rewarding yourself for working hard without blowing your budget. Treat yourself to an extra couple hours of sleep, a massage, or (my favorite) a fabulously fattening ice cream sundae.
In conclusion, it takes self-discipline, but once you get the devil off your shoulder and make it a habit to save money and think twice before you spend it, you’ll find that saving money can provide just as much (if not more) gratification as spending it.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.