We all have something we wish we could do – if only there were enough money. Maybe you dream of someday owning a home. Maybe you want to take a European vacation or renovate your bathroom or buy your dream car or retire at 55. Maybe you only want a new tv.
There’s always something that’s just out of reach because you can’t save enough money. Most Americans will tell you there’s never enough money. Many people make enough money to live on and still save a little back. They just don’t do it because they dwindle away these extra funds on things that aren’t that important to them.
Handle Your Money
When you have a major savings goal, it is a good idea to set up a separate savings account where you know all funds are earmarked for that goal. At VCNB you can automate transfers from one account to another. This is a free service that you can take advantage of to ensure you actually save the money you say you’re going to save. Another simple trick that many people find helpful is the good old fashioned change jar. Get a jar, a piggy bank or some other container to stash your change in. At the end of the day, just dump whatever change you have in your pockets into your jar. When you have some saved, drop by one of our VCNB locations that has a coin counter. The coin counter is free to use if you are a VCNB customer. We can either give you the cash to take home or deposit the money into your account.
It is much easier to stay on track with a savings goal when you can visualize that goal. Create an inspiration board electronically or with pictures cut out of magazines. Refer back to it and consider how great it will be to own that home or to be on that big vacation. If you are planning a vacation, picture yourself in a deck chair or sightseeing your destination. If it’s a new kitchen, imagine how great it will be to have your family gathered around for your next holiday. Visual reminders can be very powerful and can carry you through even the worst moments of weakness.
This is simple. Look for ways to save money and then put that money you saved toward your goal. That means shopping sales for necessities and avoiding the purchase of things you don’t really need. Do you remember the difference between a need and a want? A refresher on this lesson will serve you well.
Mae West said “I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it.” Avoid temptations by staying out of stores, removing your credit card information from online accounts and by shopping with a list. If it isn’t on the list you don’t really need it. If you really want to buy something, force yourself to wait thirty days to make the decision. Chances are you will have changed your mind after a month.
Here’s one last tip on cutting back. Try cutting out something you know is bad for you. Whether your vice is cigarettes or too much chocolate, cutting out a bad habit will help you save a few bucks.
Adjust your attitude
Sometimes all we really need is an attitude adjustment. Before you buy something, ask yourself a simple question. “Is this worth more than my savings goal?” Instead of buying more, focus on taking care of the possessions you already own and be happy with what you have.
And remember to never give up what you really want for what you want right now.