Is saving the last thing on your mind when you get paid? For some, the motivation to keep aside a portion of their income is an uphill battle so having a good motivator in place can help.
Remember when you were little and your parents told you not to misbehave or the bad man/monster/devil is going to come and get you? Fear often works in keeping naughty children in check but when it comes to money saving and adulthood - there isn't a single universal method that will work.
So, just like investment advice often goes, diversify your methods of motivating yourself to see which works best. Here are the most popular.
The Fear Factor
Of course, the fear motivator will work for some people so it's not a bad method to try.
A simple exercise would be to list down all the things that could go wrong in your current situation and lifestyle. Perhaps it's your car breaking down, a parent falling ill or your home springing a leak. You can then query people you know about how much these things cost and note them in your list.
Now contrast the amounts in your list with your available savings and resources. Sometimes lightning does strike twice/thrice: what if all the above happened in the same month? Would you be able to keep from drowning in the cost?
Sometimes, the reality of seeing things in real numbers will jolt you into doing something proactive. But if the exercise makes you feel even more dejected - perhaps another way will work better.
Be Goal Oriented
If fear isn't your choice motivator - maybe ambition is. Are there things you've always wanted to do such as visit a particular city or buy a new car? You could aim for smaller goals to start off with, such as saving to buy a new gadget or renovate your home a little. You can always work your way up to bigger things as you go along.
Create a dream folder either virtually or in hardcopy to remind yourself of your goals. Having visual reminders can be great motivators to save.
You might be thinking that what good is it to save for holidays and gifts for yourself? The idea is to motivate you to get started. Once you've inculcated the habit of saving; you'll be able to vary your savings for many different things including emergencies and retirement.
Are goals too far in the future to be motivating? There's another way.
Dangle the Carrot
Perhaps your inclination to saving is really not where it should be at all and fear, long-term goals can't motivate you enough to save from day to day. This calls for somewhat serious measures.
The beginning of a long journey always begins with the first step and if you can't take huge strides; settle for baby steps. Start with setting a saving goal for the week or month and reward yourself proportionally with perhaps 30% of the amount saved (using up the lot will defeat the purpose!).
You can even start with one week and then go onto a month. Going longer as you progress.
Get a Little Help From a Friend
If you're still falling off the bandwagon; it's time to get in the reinforcements. Could a partner, close trusted friend or relative help? They could do anything from attempting to remind you of what you need to do to helping you count your savings and provide that extra check-and-balance to keep you on your goals.
There are definitely people who would benefit from having another person look over their shoulder so to speak where their finances were concerned.
Or Do it All!
One method not working? How about trying a combination of a few? Whichever one speaks to you; incorporate it into your saving plans. The combination or how many you try, is up to you.
What are your methods to getting motivated? Let us know in the comments.