5 Motivational Tips to Start Saving Today

One of the hardest things in a person’s financial journey is saving. We are a nation that lives in the now and saving for something more than 6 months away can be difficult. Heck, most of my financial regrets have to do with not saving enough money. All I can say is that it’s just hard and sometimes you just feel like the kid in the picture below.

Break the Bank

That got me thinking about some ways to help motivate myself to save. Just like any other goals, if you do not think about saving constantly and strive to do it, you just won’t save.

1. Visualize the Prize

One of the easiest ways to save for a particular goal is to include visual reminders of that goal around your house.

Want to retire to a remote island at the age of 55? Place some pictures of exotic beaches on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror. The picture will stick out like a sore thumb and constantly remind you of what you are saving for. This tactic can work for almost any of your financial goals including cars, homes, college education, bags full of cash, etc.

2. Write Your Savings Goals Down

I wrote a post last week that gave a step-by-step guide to creating a financial mission statement. I think this is a very important step in taking responsibility for your family and finances. Sitting down with every member of your household and explaining your financial goals will get everyone on the same page. With everyone on board with the financial mission of the family, things will run a little smoother.

3. Save the Savings

This is something that I picked up over at MoneyNing. One of his readers saved his money every time he had the urge to spend. For example, if his urge was to eat out, he would eat in and then save the money he would have spent eating out in a jar. After a few weeks, it amounted to quite a large amount. It really let’s you know how much money you sometimes waste on things that are not needs. Give it a shot and you may be surprised at how much you can save by altering a few things in your financial life.

4. Automate Your Savings

This is a big tip that Ramit at I Will Teach You To Be Rich (a great author for twenty-somethings) talks about a lot. Obviously, if you do not see a certain amount of money in your account, you will not be yearning to spend it. That is how automatic saving works. You set up different accounts and have the money automatically deducted from your paycheck or checking account. Since it is done for you, you do not even have to think about it. You should do this with your 401(k), IRA, emergency fund, vacation fund, etc. If you have everything set up to automatically go where it needs to, it also eliminates the “I forgot” syndrome.

5. Keep on Learning

You are already on the right path by reading this blog and many other blogs on personal finance. Continue to educate yourself about the many different areas of personal finance and it will make saving so much easier. Whether you want to learn about frugal living or starting a budget, there is something out there for you to read and learn. You just have to go out there and do it.

Believe me, I know it’s hard to save. But if you put your mind to it and focus on the final destination, it will make attaining your savings goals that much easier.

Does anyone have any additional techniques that they personally use?


My name is Adam and I am in debt. Yep, I came out and said it in the first sentence. I hope that shows you how passionate I am about getting out of debt and enjoying life in the process. Join my wife and me on our journey and be sure to contribute to the great discussions. You can get FREE email updates about the site as soon as they are posted. If you would like to hear our whole story, visit my about page. Thanks for visiting!

9 Responses to 5 Motivational Tips to Start Saving Today
  1. Yana
    June 2, 2009 | 12:23 PM

    You do have to think about business (money) all the time. And everything is business when you are managing money. Financial management/frugality is a game, one you can get used to always playing. It is also something like managing a diet. Don’t go back for seconds. Don’t put mayonnaise on the asparagus.

    I do accounting at the end of every month, and spent way too much in May; for instance, I spent $380 on food alone. This has got to be close to a record and all-time high. This is for me, my husband and dog. Normal would be around $225. My husband and I were talking, and he was saying it’s because I ate out. Well, I don’t categorize eating out as a food expense, but he argues that it is. I don’t call it food unless I buy it at the grocery store and bring it home to cook. I think eating out is a luxurious entertainment expense (in no way a need, which food is), so that food cost for May had nothing to do with eating out. I categorize eating out as “miscellaneous”.

    Along the lines of dieting, I had a lot of work to do yesterday and wanted to eat out rather than prepare food. I would have liked to eat Mexican at a sit-down restaurant and have some guacamole, but that would have cost around $15-$20, and I WAS in the mood for a margarita 😉 Instead, I went to the local Mexican fast food place, and paid $4.06 for supernachos with jalapenos. No guacamole or booze, but I am richer for it.

  2. Cherryl Hanson Simpson
    June 2, 2009 | 4:56 PM

    Alot of persons has difficulties in saving because of the approach he/she takes. I enjoyed reading your article and the pointers are wonderful. In order to save one has to be dedicated to it. The wants that we substitute for needs has to stop. There will be temptations for us to side tracked but once we have our focus on what we want to achieve whether it be that vacation, early retirement etc we should always keep our eyes on the prize.

  3. Craig
    June 4, 2009 | 6:41 PM

    I couldn’t agree more with #2. Writing your goals down makes them real. Whether they are short term or long, having them and setting up maybe a specific account or envelope makes it real and motivates you to save.

    Craig’s last blog post..The Ways to Combat Whooping Interest Rates

  4. Miranda
    June 22, 2009 | 1:55 PM

    I’ve never really thought about doing #3. It’s an intriguing idea. And one that encourages thought about HOW one is spending one’s money. It really forces you to consider your spending, and do so a little more consciously.
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