1. Put Your Change in a Piggy Bank
It sounds a little silly, but the ol’ piggy bank has worked for years for kids and adults alike. If you find that you’re unlikely to move money into a savings account each month, try walking in the door after work every day and dropping your change in a piggy bank. When you clean your house on the weekends and you find a quarter in the cushions, put it in the piggy back. When you pick up a penny off the ground, continue with the same habit. Save it all year and next New Year’s Day, see how much you have. There have been news stories about people buying entire cars with the coins they have saved up over the years. Read up on those for a little inspiration!
2. Tell Someone About It
We’re more likely to save for something if we have someone to keep us accountable. However, I would recommend taking it a step further. Instead of just telling you mom that you want to save for a new car, ask her to check in on you regularly to see how you’re doing. If you know someone is going to ask you about it, you’ll be more likely to save so that you have something new to report. You can also start a blog and make other blogger friends who can encourage you when you meet small goals.
3. Track Your Spending
A great habit to get into is simply tracking your spending. I always recommend this to people as a first step. You don’t have to vow to save any money. You don’t have to promise to cut corners. All you have to do is simply write down what you spend every day. The reason this works is that once people start doing this, they realize which areas they can improve upon. Once it becomes habit, you have to really want something in order to put it on your list. If you’re married, do what I do. I jot down my own spending every day and then each night I ask my husband if he bought anything that day. He usually remembers, but it should be a daily question, since most of us are apt to forget 2-3 days down the road.
So there you have it: 3 ways to get motivated to start saving some money during the new year. As I said, taking on all three of these suggestions would be too much for one person. Just choose the one that seems like it would work best with your lifestyle and start slowly. As with any budgeting and savings journey, there are always bumps in the road. What’s important is that you always get back on track and remember your goals. Good luck this year!
photo by Cherry Point