It’s Thursday again, which means it is time to think like a saver! This series of posts is designed to help you retrain your brain to stop thinking like a spender and start thinking like a saver.
Last week I asked you to sit down and write out a list of your current money spending weaknesses.
Here is what mine looked like:
I’ll type it out for you if you can’t see the picture:
Hannah’s $ weaknesses
- Starbucks + other coffee shops
- ALL shopping
- Out to eat/ drinks for happy hour
- Groupon and other daily deals
More specific with shopping
- work out clothes
- baby clothes
- beauty supplies
I told you that your list would probably change over the course of the week and mine definitely did. Did you add anything to yours? Did you take anything away? Here is what mine looks like after a week. The changes are in pink.
I realized that I don’t actually spend money on home décor like I thought I did so I crossed that off my list. I think about spending money on home décor, but I rarely follow through. I did, however, add some things. I realized that I am spending way too much on coffee. I bought some coffee roasted in my hometown of Fairhope, AL to try to spend a little less. I can’t wait to do a formal review of the Fairhope Roasting Company! Anyway, I also added grocery store sales, books and kid toys to my list of weaknesses. Ugh! It was disappointing to add things to my list, but it was necessary to help me see where I am most tempted to spend money.
The next step to think like a saver is to come up with alternatives to your weaknesses. The key here is to come up with alternatives that still allow you to enjoy yourself. I don’t like going cold turkey on anything, not even spending. The truth is that you will always need to spend a little bit of money, so don’t deprive yourself, just find better ways to spend your money. You also need to make sure that your alternatives are enjoyable to you. Not everyone will enjoy the same types of alternatives.
Here are my alternatives:
- Starbucks and other coffee shops- buy quality coffee to drink at home
- Shopping- limit shopping to consignment stores
- Out to eat- find fun ways to eat at home ($20 deal at Fresh Market is a good example)
- Drinks for happy hour- do Total Wine outings instead
- Groupon and other daily deals- delete the app and only go on the site when searching for something specific, delete the emails
- Grocery store sales- still check them out, but only buy if I NEED the item, not because it is a good deal
Notice how I put consignment shopping and cooking on my list of alternatives. Those are things I enjoy, which means I’ll look forward to the alternatives. If you don’t like cooking, find another alternative to eating out as much. Maybe instead of eating out, you can buy more frozen or prepared meals. Bottom line- if you don’t enjoy the alternative, you will never stick to it. Find a way to make it fun for you!
Continue to stay aware of your spending this week. Now that you have some fun ways to spend less, try to be mindful of where you are spending your money. If it gets hard to follow your alternatives, make sure to go back to step one and remind yourself of your goal. Every time you pick an alternative to spending money, you are one step closer to your goal!
Here are all the steps if you want o revisit them:
- Identify your goal and continue to remind yourself of it. Post it somewhere around the house and think of it often, especially when tempted to spend money.
- Learn to be confident in your money-saving and spending habits. If you aren’t confident in the way you are saving money, it will be impossible to go on to the next step.
- Be honest with your friends and family about your financial goals.
- Identify your spending weaknesses and be aware of them.
- Make a list of ways to overcome your spending weaknesses.
Next week we will focus on time versus money. We’ve all heard that time is money, and for many people this is true. Not everyone will benefit from DIY ways to save money. The next post in this series will examine ways to figure out when to spend extra money instead of spending your time.
Please share some of your alternatives! I’d love to hear them.