Things we tell ourselves about saving: “I’ll start when I earn more money”, or “I don’t have enough money left at the end of the month as it is, I don’t have enough to save”, or “I’ll start saving in a few years when I’m older”. We hear you. Life is expensive, wages aren’t really going up, and you’d rather worry about money stuff later. But are you telling yourself porkies?
Four in five Australian millenials do have savings put aside. Joining them doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. Starting small and shaking off unhealthy thoughts can help you to kick off a new saving habit.
That inner-voice telling you “nope, I can’t save” is not being honest with you and it’s getting in the way of your wellbeing down the track.
Having fun and living life don’t need to be enemies of saving. Putting small amounts of money aside regularly can co-exist with good times. And it’s never too late to start. The longer you put it off, the more it feels like saving money is this unattainable, overwhelming thing.
Breaking your inertia will likely be the hardest step. That’s why starting small – even if it’s really, really small – is a smart way to get you going with saving and will help you to avoid feeling stressed or anxious about setting money aside. By starting small, you’re more likely to succeed, and that winning feeling will probably spur you on. Then, you may want to build up over time.
It’s human nature to assume your future-self is more motivated, has more willpower, has more time and is more sensible than your current self. It becomes easier to transfer your money worries to the future, so you can focus on instant gratification, right now. But don’t kid yourself, future-self is still you.
The thing about savings is, it’s less to do with the actual amount you’re putting aside, and more to do with creating a savings habit. Even if it’s $1 a week for a year, you’re developing the habit of saving, which is actually the real goal.
And habits strengthen with repetition. So, rinse and repeat. Often. Over time, saving can become a subconscious, automatic part of your life, and future you will love you for it.