“Find your own style. Don’t spend your savings trying to be someone else. You’re not more important, smarter or prettier because you wear a designer dress.”
— Salma Hayek
Why do many of us find saving money a tall order? It’s a tough question to answer given the different situations we are in. But I believe saving money tells us more about our will than our circumstance. As the cliché goes, “if there’s a will, there’s a way.” Here are some simple tips I use to make saving easier and painless.
Be Grateful. How much money is enough? Is 1 million enough? Or maybe 100 million? How about 1 billion? Well, I’ve got news for you it will never be enough until we learn to be grateful. Until we are grateful, we will always find an excuse not to save. Until we are grateful, we will always find something to spend on to make sure we ‘look’ better than our peers. Until we are grateful, we will always feel we don’t have enough because our neighbor has more.
Being grateful will allow us to be happy with whatever situation we are in without the need to impress anyone. Exercise being grateful by just reflecting on 2-3 things you are grateful for every day. It doesn’t have to be a major event that happened; it can be as simple as having a nice chat with parents or having a good cup of coffee to start the day. Focus on what we have now and plan for what we really want to have.
Go Back to Basic (The Piggy Bank Approach). Wherever I am, whether in the office or at my home, I always keep a coin bank on my table to remind me of saving. It is the most basic approach that we were taught when we were young. I make it a point to put something in it daily regardless of the amount. There would be days where I only put P1 while there would be days where I put P100. I don’t fret about the amount I put in, what’s more important for me is that I put some amount daily. Once we built that habit of saving regularly, then it will be human nature to want to save more.
Make saving easy. If doing it online would be easier than going to the bank to transfer the money, then go online. If we feel that saving is hard, don’t make it harder by adding more work to do it. Find a medium that is easy to save money into but hard to withdraw money from.
Save with a friend (or a support group). Sometimes things done alone are much harder than being part of a team. Find someone who you can trust to give you nudge whenever he/she feels like you are going back to your old habits of not saving or spending. Allow this person to be frank and honest with you and remind you why you are saving and why you asked for support. In the same way, help him out with his goals. This way it will be a two-way support system.
Have a goal (bigger than Money). The goal is not just 1 million or 100 million. The goal is a house that costs 1 million, or a retirement with the type of lifestyle I want that would need 100 million. The goal doesn’t stop with the amount you want to raise; the goal extends further to something more meaningful. It is difficult to save because most of the time, we have no clue what are saving for. If the goal is bigger than just money, then saving becomes more sustainable and purposeful.
Jeremy Jessley Tan is Registered Financial Planner of RFP Philippines. To learn more about personal financial planning, attend the 57th RFP program on Oct 1-Nov 19. To inquire, e-mail email@example.com or text <name><e-mail><RFP> at 0917-9689774.
JEREMY JESSLEY TAN, RFP