Hope Wissel

Saving on a Budget

I don’t know about you but Saturday seems to naturally be a shopping day – food shopping, clothes shopping, needs vs wants, business supplies, etc.  If it is a dreary day, what is the first thing we think about doing – go walk the mall.  Okay, so let’s be REAL!  Are we just going to walk the mall and window shop in other words or is it really an excuse to shop for no apparent reason?  I haven’t been to the mall in a long time but I do seem to spend a lot more time roaming Walmart, Target, Kohls, etc.

I am working hard to TRICK MY BRAIN into saving money.  According to a report on Chase Blueprint “only 25% of us are born with the ‘good’ gene” which means that we have self-control when it comes to spending.  As a recovering addict, I am not sure I have self-control in any area of my life.  I have the addictive gene.  You know the one who eats too much so weight is an issue, experiments with drugs and needs rehab to get off them, goes window shopping and ends up with lots of bags filled with things that I don’t really need.  You have the picture, right?  Do the happy dance!!!  Our brains can be TAUGHT to be smarter with money.  AMEN!!!  There is hope for me, so here goes:

  • Adopt a new mantra.  What the suggestion actually is to make a rule and DON’T break it.  Psychologists say that we feel poorly about ourselves when we break a rule – do we really need another reason to feel bad about ourselves?
  • Make saving a no-brainer.  What we don’t see, we can’t spend right?  Set-up an auto withdraw on payday to transfer money into a savings account – one that is not easily accessed.  We don’t miss what we don’t see.  According to the study, this type of savings activated the slow-thinking region of the brain that promotes self-control.
  • Pick a plan and stick to it.  Trying to pay off debt?  Find a repayment plan that works for you and stick to it.  I like Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and it seems to be slowly working for me.
  • Spend on your best self.  For those who have small children, this may be a no-brainer.  I mean, you want to provide for your children so you make financial decisions based on that goal.  According to the identity reinforcement theory, you can override bad money behavior by adopting good habits that reflect the person you really are.  Um, what if you don’t know who that is?

So, as you head out to shop today – THINK first about that impulse purchase.  Does it fall inline with your savings goal or your debt reduction plan?  Share your financial tips with us, we would love to hear how you are saving money.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


6 thoughts on “Saving on a Budget”

  1. I have written out a weekly plan for where every penny of my money goes. It’s hanging on my fridge. It’s only week two of me doing this, but I am visual, so I think the constant reminder will help me refrain from frivolous spending.

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