There are so many tips to follow if you want to save for the future. The popular ones involve tricking yourself to save more money. After all, some people find it hard to save because it is more fun to spend. Who does not want to have a new shirt or a bag or spend some time traveling? We all do and we all deserve to spend on ourselves.
However, there are financial goals that we need to reach and that makes saving all the more important. This is the reason why saving successfully for the future means delaying gratification.
This simply means you will postpone certain expenses so you can enjoy a better future. You will stop spending today so you have the cash to spend tomorrow. Delayed gratification is a must to help you save for the future but this is not always easy to do.
One of the examples that will benefit from your savings is your retirement. According to a survey from Gallup.com, 48% of their respondents said that they expect to live comfortably in retirement. On the other hand, 47% believe that they will not have enough money when they retire. This includes some affluent members of society who expect that their retirement will take a hit.
If people are this concerned about their retirement, you need to think about delaying gratification so you can ensure that this part of your future will be secure. The closer you are to retirement, the less time you have to save for the future. Do not make your future self suffer just because you cannot make the sacrifices needed to help you prepare for it.
Tips to delay gratification to help you save more
Of course, delaying gratification is easier said than done. We live in a consumerist society after all. Everywhere you turn, there are billboards, campaigns, endorsements, and advertisements telling you to spend your money. They tell you that this is a new product or a service that you have to spend on because it can make your life more comfortable and worthwhile. It will make you appear more affluent and successful in the eyes of your neighbors.
All of these make it very hard to delay gratification so you can save for the future. But even if it is hard, it is not impossible to do this. Sometimes, you only have to make small changes in your life to make your future finances more stable. If you combine that with changing your mindset, you can successfully train yourself to be okay with delaying gratification.
Here are some tips that can make delayed gratification easier to accomplish.
Picture what you want to happen in the future.
Visualization is a great way to motivate yourself to make the sacrifices that will help reach your goal. You literally should have a picture of what you want to happen so you can remind yourself of what you will get if you continue choosing to delay gratification and save instead.
Create a timeline.
Apart from the picture, a timeline will also help make delayed gratification easier to accomplish. For instance, if you give yourself 5 months to save up for a vacation, you can count down the days before you can stop making the sacrifices needed to save for the future. Of course, this can also work against you – especially if you start saving for something that will take a long time to complete. If you know that you are the impatient type, you may want to start with a short-term goal so you can reach it faster. You can make it longer when you get used to the idea of waiting.
Focus on distractions.
This seems contradictory right? But if you really want to save for the future through delayed gratification, this is a must. Instead of thinking about what you could be spending, just keep yourself busy. You can choose to work so you can earn more. You will not be spending but instead, you will increase your money further.
Make it hard to spend.
Another tip to help you delay gratification is to make it hard for you to spend. Keep your credit cards at home if you are trying to curb your spending. Bring only enough cash or a little extra when you go out. Remember, if you do not spend your money, that can be put towards your saving. Of course, it is important to choose what expenses to sacrifice and what you should keep. Make sure you do not make life miserable just because you have a couple of saving goals. Be realistic with the sacrifices that you will make.
Track all your expenses.
This is one of the best ways to be proactive about your goal to save for the future. You have to track your expenses so you know where your money is going. Once you have taken notes, you need to review it to check which ones should be removed and what are really necessary.
Stop stressing about the small contributions.
Another thing that you need to let go is the amount that you can put aside. If there are times when you cannot follow through with your intent to delay gratification and you succumb to spending, that is okay. Do not be too hard on yourself. It is okay to give yourself a break from time to time. Also, if you cannot meet the amount that you intended to save and only have a small amount, that is also okay. A small amount is better than nothing.
Do not exhaust yourself.
Although you need to save, make sure that you will not kill yourself trying to do it. Give yourself some time to relax. Reaching your goal is important but when you have to get sick just to achieve it, then it may not be worth it.
It is not easy to save for the future especially when you know that it requires delayed gratification. But you have to keep in mind that whatever sacrifices that you have to go through will be temporary.
Saving goals that can improve your future
When you have to make sacrifices to reach your saving goals, you have to select the targets that will be worth it. Here are a couple of saving goals that is worth delaying gratification for.
This is still part of the American Dream. We do not intend for you to save a lot so you can buy your house in cash. You can focus on saving for the down payment. Some of you may be thinking that this is no longer necessary. After all, according to TheMortgageReports.com, there are home loans that no longer require a down payment. If you qualify to get a VA Loan, USDA Loan or an FHA Loan, the most that you need for a down payment is 3.5%. While this is good news, you have to rethink your options. It is still better to save for the future down payment because that will lessen the loan that you have to borrow. It will help you save on interest in the long run.
Another saving goal that you can look into is your retirement. Do not give your older self a problem. Make sure your future self will live a comfortable life. Work hard now and make a little sacrifice here and there so you can be prosperous in your golden years.
A business is also a great target to save for the future. Who does not want to be their own boss right? We all love that idea. You have to understand that your business can thrive and make you wealthy – if you have the determination and the perseverance to make it proper. Save up for your capital so you do not have to borrow money to use as your capital.
Finally, you want to target education as one of your saving goals. Even if it is not for you, it will surely help establish the future of your children. According to the statistics published on WSJ.com, 40% of the Americans who borrowed from the federal government to finance their student loans are behind on their payments. Do not give them this burden. Help them by saving for their education. You do not have to save for everything but helping pay for a part of their education will really help in the long run.
If you are unsure of how you can save for the future, here is a video with tips that will help you save thousands of dollars on your daily expenses.