Actionable steps to keep your money saving motivation strong & solid!
You are badass! Seriously, if you’re reading this that means that you’ve already committed yourself to start managing your money better. Congrats, because you’ve got your big girl pants on and are ready to GO! Maybe your family is trying to get out of debt, or save for a house or your retirement, or start a college savings account for your little ones. Whatever it is, you know that road will be long, even a bit bumpy. You also understand that sometimes you may need a bit of help (kudos for recognizing this). The number one thing that moms say they need help with is on staying motivated while trying to save money. Here are four actionable tips to help you keep on track with your saving money goals!
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Financial Goals are Personal
If you’re not picking up what I’m putting down then let me explain. Your money is one of your most personal relationships, you either control it or it controls you, you deal with it multiple times a day, every single day of your life. Forever. It’s personal, and as smart people say “no one will care about your money more than you”! Sometimes I think that quote would be better if it read “no one should care about your money more than you”.
You know what happens when relationships get out of whack, be it relationships with people, or food, or your career. Things go downhill, spiral out of control, or fill you with dread. So it’s essential that you take action today because financial troubles don’t ever just go away! Even with bankruptcy, those “issues” aren’t fixed, they’re just reset with a zero balance (and a new set of problems). Staying on track is important, but getting back on track when life throws you curve balls will take grit.
Keeping Your Promises – Grit
Making a promise to yourself should have MEANING in your life. I know that these promises are easy to break, as only you would know if you broke them, but I’m telling you that’s a slippery slope that you don’t want to mess with! Staying motivated is hard, especially when it’s around saving money.
Oddly enough I was reading Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. It seems that everyone has read this book except me, and it’s one of the most loved & hated books around apparently. I am not easily offended, and I have a wicked sense of humor. Snark anyone? Bring it; I got you! Anyway, her book is about the lies we tell ourselves as women. The book is a very fast and easy read. I related to so many of her “lies”, and how she told the stories was so open and cringeworthy in the best way possible.
Chapter one was funny and full of “oh girl” moments. Yet the second chapter just killed me. Killed me in the best way possible. The chapter is “The Lie: I’ll Start Tomorow”. She talks about how we try, and we fail, we try again, and fail some more. How we plan and make promises to ourselves yet these promises are the very first ones we give up on. We —GIVE UP— on ourselves, we make excuses, we “forget” our best intentions, our goals, and our dreams.
Think about it, how many promises to yourself have you broken?
- I won’t eat any more sweets
- I will go running four times a week
- I will curb my inner judgemental diatribe
These are all things that I promised myself, and these are all things that I have quit. I broke my promise to myself. Reading Hollis’ words and recognizing it in myself was hard. She went on to tell a story about a lady who was doing Whole 30 and quit without an ounce of guilt. The heart clencher came when Rachel asked us, the reader, “Y’all would you respect her?”
Y’all, Would you respect her? This woman who starts and stops over and over again? Would you count on Pam or the friend who keeps blowing you off for stupid reasons? Would you trust them when they committed to something? Would you believe them when they committed to you? No. No way. And that level of distrust and apprehension applies to you too.– Rachel Hollis
If you haven’t already, it’s time to draw the line. This is for you, for your family, for your daughter or your son. This is for your life!
Rachel Hollis’ message was so profound (that sounds silly, but it really was) that I made an image for my phone lock screen, so I see it every day, every time I pick up my phone that phase is there. Reminding me of what I promised myself. Here it is to help you, take a screenshot, crop as needed and set it as your lock screen to help you stay motivated and to remember your most important promises; the promises you make to yourself!
4 ways to help you stay Motivated while saving money
1. Write down your goals
It’s said that people who write down their goals are 50 thousand times more likely to achieve them. Okay, I made that number up, but you get the point. Write. It. Down.
You NEED to write them down, burn those letters and words into your brain. You need to do what all the experts agree upon. Yes, they all agree that writing down your goals is the KEY to succeeding. Don’t believe me?
- Neuroscience Explains Why You Need To Write Down Your Goals If You Actually Want To Achieve Them
- The Power of Writing Down Your Goals and Dreams
- This is Why You Need to Write Down Your Goals for Faster Success
Now, how you write them down is up to you. On a paper napkin that you keep in your wallet? Cool. On a Google Doc? Cool. In a pretty Journal? Cool. My favorite is Laura Casey’s Powersheets. A thought-provoking journal that you WANT TO write in and so much more with helping to guide you through the process in such a profound way. This journal is all about helping YOU to stay motivated on your money saving journey.
When you write your goals down it’s important to know your “why”. Why is “this” important to you? For some it may be the constant worry, the struggle. For others it’s all about keeping your family safe…
RELATED: How Financial Stability is Key for Our Children’s Development
Or maybe you’re just tired of not being happy and your finances are one of the areas you know you need to get under control. For this understanding what is truly important to you can be the key to your success…
RELATED: How to Identify Your Personal Core Values & Using it to Succeed!
2. Make your goals visual
You’ve written down your goals. Great! You are ahead of the game! Sometimes you need to make them a bit more visible to give you the motivational nudge that you need to succeed.
My husband was in the ARMY, and now he’s in the National Guard (only two more years until he reaches his 20 yr mark for retirement! Talk about having to work at staying motivated! I’m damn proud!) Anyway, two years ago he went away for an entire month, which was hard on so many levels. Yet, this time I was excited, as I set a goal for myself, I made it a challenge to save as much money as I possibly could! I think I was saving for something, funny that I don’t remember the “thing” I was saving for, but I remember the doing.
Anyway, I bought a roll a wrapping paper at the Dollar Tree ($1 of course), and I covered my fridge with the backside of it. Then I took sharpies and drew a big thermometer on it; you know the ones that they use for fundraising. I drew it up to like $300, as that was my goal and I broke the measurements down by week. Each week I needed to save $75 to reach my goal. Then I printed out a table on regular paper that had columns for
- amount spent
- store name
- exactly what I spent $ on. If I bought even a tomato, I wrote it down!
Each day, as my daughter was eating dinner, I would update that table and thermometer. It was literally the highlight of my day; I was so pumped to write down how little I had spent. I wish I had a picture of it, and I wish you could take my words and imagine them live, on your own fridge, in your own kitchen, in your own home. As each time I walked by that fridge I was reminded about what I wanted, and the steps I was taking to get there. It was a visual reminder of my financial goals to help ME stay motivated to reach them.
Now, it doesn’t have to be a massive statement on your fridge. It can be a regular letter sized paper on your bathroom mirror, with dots and smiley faces for days that you kill it. Maybe it can be a sticky note on your car dashboard. Or, it can be your computer screen saver (that’s my vision board). It can be whatever motivates you to KEEP GOING!
3. Use your imagination
We’re going to get super dorky here. Are you ready? I have a scenario in my head, like a full like 10-minute show of the moment that I finally “make it”. I can picture my success; feel the swell of emotion, the pride that I feel when I see the proof of my success.
I have always had a very active imagination, and I am harnessing it to visualize my success. I’m nerding out on the scenery, the smells, the weather, the cast, the tactile sensations. I can literally see the tears of joy streaming down my face when I finally close the launch of my first course.
There. I’ve said it. I’ve told you my biggest dream, having a successful course launch. Do I have a dollar figure attached to that? Not really, maybe $7K, maybe $32K, maybe even $57K … HA! One day, perhaps, but not now, not anytime soon. But one day. I can literally taste it.
Ambitious? Yup, you need ambition to survive! You want to be debt free? Imagine what that scene will look like when you finally close those credit cards or when you finally pay off that suffocating student loan. When you finally reach your DREAM.
Can you picture it? Who’s there, what are you wearing? Is it sunny, or are you inside? How do you react? Feel that moment (yup, sounds a little crazy but just do it). How do you FEEL? Whenever I am feeling like I’ve lost my way I will absolutely harness this tactic to help me stay motivated on my journey.
4. Surround yourself with like-minded people
We’ve heard the saying from motivational speaker, Jim Rohn “You are the five people that you surround yourself with”. I think that it is true yet more flexible these days.
Let’s think about this. With your social media, you have cultivated opinions that are like your own. You follow who you like, who speaks to what resonates with you. It makes sense that this is true in real life (before FB, yikes!) You follow what you like.
So if all of your friends like to go out and party, then you’ll go too. If your basketball mom’s club likes to eat soup at every meeting, you’ll be eating soup, you’ll be noticing soup on the shelves, and you’ll be looking at soup recipes on Pinterest. Hmmm… there are worse things than soup but you get the idea.
Let’s bring it closer to home. If your husband likes to go out to eat at Applebee’s (that’s literally the only restaurant chain I could think of on the spot), then you guys will go there vs. other places. So if you want something other than Applebee’s you need to change something. YOU need to reach out to new people, in new places.
Meeting new like-minded people isn’t always easy. So use the tools that you have to surround yourself with the support that will help you stay motivated! The can best be done with our good old trusty phone. Hello Facebook! Here’s what you do…
- Unfollow any store pages that you liked. For me, bye bye Anthropologie. I don’t need any temptation to go out and spend money, so I unfollowed them, and now I don’t see their promotions.
- Follow money minded industry leaders or news publication and join FB groups geared to saving money. Some good ones are Money Magazine, Dave Ramsey, etc. Find some bloggers to follow that have groups that you can join. I love Stacking Benjamins, ChooseFI, and more! These group pages are gold for finding people just like you who are in the same situation as yourself. They share their struggles, so you feel that you aren’t alone. You can learn whats worked for them, so you can get new ideas. They share their victories, so you can see that it’s possible. You can even ask them how they stay motivated while trying to save money. Then in time, you can go on to inspire those that are just starting on their journey.
- Use your email to bring in information, sign up for newsletters and webinars. So many people have useful information out there, you just need to reach out and sign up for it! In your new online groups ask people what resources they have found helpful, people love sharing so just ask!
- Embrace the podcast! Seriously, this is my favorite way to learn about money. BUT, fair warning, make sure you follow a reputable source. Anyone can be a podcaster, that doesn’t mean they are qualified. Look at review ratings, and how many people have reviewed them. Again, my gateway drug into listening to podcasts was the Dave Ramsey Show. My commute to work is anywhere from 45 minutes to 90 minutes, so I used it to my best advantage. You can listen while cooking dinner, folding laundry, taking a shower. Whenever you have the time just do it.
At the end of the day
You and your actions are going to make or break your drive and determination. You already know this. If you want it bad enough you will find a way, and if you don’t, you will find an excuse (someone smarter than me said that). Getting on the path is easy, but staying on the path takes hard work. Use any and all resources to help you stay motivated while saving money.
I hate to say it but you will falter in the very beginning, don’t worry. It’s all part of the process; this is how we learn. Don’t think that you will achieve greatness on the first swing, pace yourself. Learn from your mistakes, tweak your plan, and PUSH THROUGH, just don’t give up!
Mama, you’ve got this!
- Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
- Girl Wash Your Face Workbook by Rachel Hollis
- Laura Casey’s Powersheets
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