If you have trouble sticking to a goal, visual cues can help. For example, personal finance writer Trent Hamm suggests using graph paper to mark your progress.
Photo by PicJumbo.
Visual cues or triggers work because they make your goal more tangible. It's gratifying to know you packed a lunch and saved some cash, but it's even more gratifying to actually see this progress being made - it's why gamification is so effective. Hamm explains his visualisation strategy for savings goals:
I'd take a piece of graph paper with 100 squares by 100 squares on it and I'd simply mark out one of those squares every time I did something that saved $10 and I put that $10 aside in an account somewhere. Whenever that account earned $10 in interest or dividends or growth, I'd add another square. Then, over time, I can watch that square fill in... One little square. You can fill in that square countless times in a given week, and with each little square you fill in, your success grows larger and the distance you still have to go grows smaller.
It seems kind of silly, but little tricks like these work because they make your goal less vague and more present. If you find it hard to keep up with a savings habit, it's certainly worth a try - it will only cost you a sheet of graph paper.
Check out Hamm's full post at the link below.
One Little Square [The Simple Dollar]
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