Budgeting sucks – let’s get that out of the way right now. You’re trying to have a good time and then all of a sudden, this voice comes into your head saying “Are you sure you want to spend money on that right now?” Setting a budget is a looming concept that many people want to do (or at least secretly know they need too!) but often find it hard to stay motivated to get started; until now. We have a few ideas to help you jump-start your savings, all while still having some fun doing it!
Set Realistic Budgeting Goals
Despite that urge to jump off the deep end and start saving in every nook and cranny of your life; it’s unrealistic. Trying to do too much too soon will burn you out and in turn halt the saving progress altogether. Our suggestion? Start small.
Think of the small luxuries you can easily start saving on in your daily life. Do you buy a coffee or lunch every day? It adds up! Why not try making it at home.
Do you buy too many knickknacks? Can you not walk into a store without purchasing something? Try and get creative and take notice when you are doing unnecessary spending. It may sound silly at first, but once you cut out those regular, consistent purchases you’ll start to notice that your $5-15 spending’s are turning into savings.
Change Your Idea of Budgeting
Does the very word “budget” make you cringe? Us too! That’s why we stopped calling it that. Try calling it your “Adventure Jar” or how about the “I’m Buying a House Someday Fund”. When you attach a more positive (and let’s face it, realistic!) word to your reason for saving money, you’ll find yourself more willing to partake. If you think you need more of a visual than just a jar why not get a little creative? Make a poster of your goal (similar to those thermometers that get coloured in as you get closer to your goal!) It adds the element of fun as well as helps you visually see yourself getting closer to your goal. Need something less colourful? There is a magnitude of budgeting apps that help you stay motivated – no more spreadsheets with daunting cells.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
If you’re the kind of person who does better when the money is being sneakily taken from your account and stored in an undisclosed place, that’s okay. Go to your bank and set up an automatic transfer each month or week or pay cheque. Whatever works best for you! You can even set up a separate savings account so it’s not tempting to spend that large amount of money when you see it growing. If you really need it out of sight, set up a completely different account that you don’t access regularly. That way it really is out of sight, out of mind. If this is the route that’s likely to work best for you, do your research. Plenty of banks offer great interest rates to new customers – go with the one that works best for your long-term goal.
Don’t Forget to Budget in Some FUN!
Saving is tough, and you’re doing a great job if you’ve made it this far. Don’t forget to reward yourself for sticking with your goal. A good way to do this and still keep motivated to save is to set markers for yourself. If you’re saving for something big, reward yourself at the $500 or $1000 marker. It doesn’t have to be a week-long vacation reward, but how about a nice dinner out or tickets to that concert you’ve been eyeing up. Treating yourself for good behaviour is not cheating on your budget, it’s motivation to keep going!