When you’re used to spending money as soon as you earn it, it can be hard to re-program yourself to think about money differently. If you’re not rolling in money you want to enjoy what little money you do have and so it can be very difficult to motivate yourself to put some aside for a rainy day. You may have something specific in mind that you’d like to save for, but if you can’t find the motivation to do so you’re either going to have to go without it, or else get into debt to be able to afford it. Ideally, then, you need to find the motivation to save money.
It definitely helps to have a goal in mind when you start saving, as this keeps you focused on what exactly the point of saving is. It is all well and good saving money in case something goes wrong and you find yourself needing to replace a washing machine or a part for your car, but these are not the kind of issues that are going to help you concentrate on saving money. You are therefore better off giving yourself something positive to aim for, so that you can associate the hardship of saving money with a reward at the end of it, thus reinforcing your good work.
You may want to save up for a holiday abroad or a new car; you may have something slightly smaller in mind, such as a wardrobe full of new clothes or a CD player. Whatever it is, you need to keep reminding yourself why it is you’re not wasting all your extra cash on fast food and alcohol and leaving it in your bank account, instead.
It might help to have a picture of what it is you’re aiming to purchase. Perhaps, you haven’t decided on the precise item you want and so you can use the time it is going to take you to save up for it to do some research on cars or holidays, so you can pick the right one for you. This will spur you on to keep saving.
Perhaps, you’re saving for something that is more of a long-term investment. You may have decided to set up a college fund for your child and so when you’re tempted to go on a spending spree you have to think about your child’s future and visualise what difference having that extra money is going to make.
Although it isn’t always easy to save money, if you really want something badly enough you will find a way to motivate yourself to save up for it, and you will receive your reward eventually.