Saving for the future can be one of the most frustrating things you've ever done. As many great ways there are to budget and plan for your financial future, in the end saving money means you'll have to give up something now to be better off or survive later. Over at The Simple Dollar, there's an excellent post about dealing with that financial frustration and how to avoid giving in to the "ugh, is this really worth it?" mentality and giving up entirely.
Photo by futureatlas.com.
Instant gratification is a strong force, and not everyone has the financial discipline to just not spend and save instead. Sometimes that means you'll have to skip the fancy dinners you and your partner are accustomed to, or you'll have to deny yourself a shiny new gadget you've been wanting to buy. It sounds easy when it's someone else, but when it's actually you, it's a tough sell.
Instead, The Simple Dollar suggests finding a way to keep you financial goals right in front of you at all times. Develop an obsessive habit of checking (but not modifying) your retirement funds to watch them grow. Put up a photo of your dream home — the one you're saving for — next to your monitor so you see it every single day. Make it your desktop wallpaper. If you're saving up to buy your next car, make your wallpaper a picture of your dream car. If you want to travel the world when you retire, set your home page to the cruise line you want to take. All of these options keep your financial goals right in front of your face so you're less likely to give in to instant gratification. They also suggest making sure to spend as much time with your family and loved ones as possible. Doing so offsets the notion that you're somehow missing out on time with them by not spending money to do things together.
How do you keep your savings goals and financial plans square in the front of your mind? What methods do you use to bolster your financial discipline? Share your tips in the comments below.
Breaking Through the Frustration Barrier [The Simple Dollar]