9 Mind Hacks to Spending Less (So You Can Save More)Tweet
Like being on a diet, saving money is about putting your mind in the game. You want to save much as you can, but you can’t because you keep thinking of all the really cool gadgets you’re going to miss out on. Or how you’ll miss eating out with your friends. Or that you don’t like feeling restrained.
But, just like dieting, once you wrap your mind around your goal, you can – and will – achieve it.
Here are your 9 easy ways to hack your mind so you can spend less (and save more!):
1. Cash only
Stick to a cash only policy, if you have trouble with overspending. If you have to actually put the money in the cashier’s hand, you’ll feel the money slipping away from you more than if you simply use your credit or debit card and watch the numbers flit away from your computer screen hours later.
2. Know your bottom line
Always know how much you have available. By staying on top of your numbers, there’s never any doubt when you want to spend. If you simply check in to your account every now and again, then you’ll likely to spend more because you aren’t keenly aware of what’s there.
3. What’s the return on your investment
Consider what you’ll get from you purchase before you make it. If it won’t benefit it you by helping you earn more, or contribute to your survival, consider if you really need it before you buy it.
4. Allot an amount for non-essentials
Give yourself an allowance each pay period. And stick to it. Pay yourself a little mad money and use it for whatever you want, but be aware – once it’s gone, it’s gone. You can’t have more until the next pay cycle – and that could be a while.
5. Consider percent of life – not percent of money
When you consider how long you’ll have to work to payoff something, rather than how much money you’ll owe for it, you’re more likely to think twice (or thrice) before making the purchase.
For example, before you walk into your local Mac Cafe and drop £1000 on the new 13” Macbook Air, consider this: how long will you have to work to pay for it? If you make £5/hour, then you’ll have to work 200 hours just for that – that’s not factoring in your cost of living bills that technically have to be divided into the equation.
6. Establish your intention and focus on it everyday
Establish your intention to spend less and make it a focal point for a daily meditation that helps you stay mentally on track.
Start your day, lying in bed, and guide yourself through a few mental reminders of why you want to spend less and how it’s going to benefit your bank account later. Also, take time to set up a few triggers during your meditation so that when you find yourself preparing to spend, you stop and consider, “Do I want to spend this?”
7. Enter the mind of the marketer
Marketing is a powerful industry – and for good reason. They convince unsuspecting consumers to hand over money they don’t usually have to buy goods they don’t normally need.
Now, that takes talent.
Yet, you fall for it every time. Condition yourself to recognize marketing ploys for what they are: money traps. When you watch the tele or see offers in mags, keep in mind, it’s been created just to take your money from your wallet…is that what you want?
8. Go through a cooling period
When you see something you want (not need), before you jump to buy, give yourself time to cool off and get it off of your mind for a bit. You can even write a note on your calendar to check in with your “want” a month later.
If you haven’t forgotten about it, and you can live without the extra funds, then get it. But if you look at that calendar a month later and have to think, “OH! I wanted to get that new espresso machine!” the chances are that you didn’t really love it or needed it as badly as you thought.
9. Be happy
Our best hack is to be happy. Because if you’re happy with what you have, then you won’t be on the look out for the next “I need that!” item. When you’re happy, you look within, not from your wallet, to satisfy your needs.
Happiness is being with where you are in your life at this moment. And whatever else comes, comes. You’re good. Because you don’t need anything more to make you happier.
Use these 9 hacks to hack your way to spending less and saving more – join us at Happier.co.uk so you can be happier, too!