“Ok, it’s New Year’s Eve, new beginning, new projects, new resolutions. I need to save money because I have a plan. I plan on being a better person. I want to buy a house, travel far away, celebrate my Birthday like there’s no tomorrow or simply renew my wardrobe!
Either way, I need to save money.
I had the same resolution last year, didn’t work out. But this time it’s different, this time I’ve thought it through, all I need is discipline.”
Haaaa, if only that was true!
Have you ever wanted (or even planned) to save money, whether it be for a nice and big project or simply to have savings (LOL), and then found yourself spending that money on insignificant things?
Daily Starbucks, 50th pair of shoes, a beautiful mirror from Ikea that you don’t know how to hang, some ring light that seemed like a good thing to have at the time?
That happens to me all the time. Then I look back, realize I blew my goal to save money and think: “I need to have more discipline”
… Yeaaaa, nooo that’s not it!
Have you ever considered that maybe it’s not all on you, maybe it’s not just your fault?
Here are 3 reasons why we have such a hard time saving money.
#1. We like to buy things!
Let’s be honest! I love to buy new stuff. I see it as a little reward to myself. I work hard, I make a lot of efforts, I feel like I deserve the reward. Also, I didn’t get all the toys I wanted when I was younger and that was frustrating. So yeah, I am compensating a little bit now 😉
There is always an advantage to not reaching our goal, or a drawback to reaching it. We just need to be aware of it. If I want to save money, I lose the pleasure of buying the things I want.
#2. We are influenced by constant advertising all the time everywhere.
We don’t even see it anymore, but it is truly there and everywhere. While watching TV, shopping in store and online, listening to the radio, walking to the park, on your phone, in your car, at the bus stop, from your window, everywhere. And whether we want it or not, it has an impact on us, making it hard to say no, hard not to be tempted to spend money. It’s like wanting to cut fast food while walking into a Mc Donald’s, you can do it but it’s probably going to take everything you have.
If you live downtown, you may see about 42 advertisements just on your way to work. That’s a lot of temptation to say no to in just one morning. You might be strong today but then you have to do it again tomorrow!
#3. We are irrational beings.
Yep. When we are comfortably sitting at a café with our laptop and music on, planning, we are serene and thinking rationally. But as soon as we have to make a decision, we make it for irrational reasons (source: Dan Ariely). So rationally I want to save money for my long-term plans. But irrationally, I want to feel the pleasure of owning that thing that I don’t really need but that everyone has, and which got great reviews.
Even though you think you want something, there might be something else that you want even more…
There is so much going on around us every day diverting us from our goals, constantly. It’s hard to resist the temptation in the moment, but it’s not impossible. One big step to overcome this is to be aware of it. Be aware that:
- The feeling of satisfaction you get from buying something won’t last long if you have a long-term goal
- You might not really need that thing you have eyes on, and it could be the object of influence from your environment
- Your goals are what counts. Take a step back and keep in mind what they are and why
And you, do you have big goals that you are saving money for?