Copious amounts of information is available online — including on this blog — about financial tips and tricks that can result in more personal savings, yet most of those tips involve reviewing your budget or making cuts to personal spending habits. Here are some non-financial tips that can help you reach your savings goals.
Personalize your accounts. If you have established an account for a specific purpose, give it a name. Assigning a meaningful title such as “retirement fund” “anniversary trip” or “kitchen makeover” makes the goal seem more tangible.
Use a photo to keep you riveted. Adding a picture of what or who you are saving for will help you stay committed. So put a nice photo of Junior — or a Harley Davidson — in your wallet. That way, you’ll think twice before you pull out a credit card for an impulse purchase.
Choose your friends wisely. Probably not something most people think of, but research shows that if you spend time around frugal people, you are more likely to mimic their attitudes and actions toward building wealth. The more insular your neighborhood, the more likely you might be to copy or outdo neighbors as it relates to home upgrades and car purchases. Fight the urge to keep up with the Joneses by palling around with the right types of people.
Connect to the future you. Our here-and-now culture makes us reluctant to sacrifice spending today for the sake of an unknown future lifestyle. Start by picturing exactly how your future would look if you saved enough, then determine what steps you can take to make the vision play out. If you really want to connect to the future you, see what the older you may look like by doing a digital age enhancement using an app like AgeMyFacePro.
See what your nest egg buys you. Use a retirement-income calculator to convert your current 401(k) balance and other retirement savings to future income. This will probably be a wake-up call for most, as you’ll surprised that it doesn’t go as far as you might think.