Hey friends, thanks for stopping by to read 10 Simple Ways to Change Your Mindset About Saving Money!
Are you the type of person who thinks you’re not good at saving money?
Or are you like me? Are you the type of person who thinks you’re good at saving money? That is, if you actually made enough money to have some money left over to save.
Who else has spent a lifetime working low-paying jobs and money has always been tight?
I’ve lived frugally all my life, living within my means because I had no means. If I wanted to save money, I had to figure out a way to make it happen. What about you? Are you ready to change your mindset about saving money?
Who else is trying to figure out ways to put money aside into an emergency fund or retirement savings?
Here are 10 simple ways to change your mindset about saving money:
1. Stop taking advice from unrelatable people
There are a lot of financial experts out there. Some with university degrees and others who’ve learned along the way and want to share what has worked for them. Or just give well-meaning advice whether or not it’s their personal experience.
I can not relate to finance bloggers who talk about putting $5,000 a month from their salary into their retirement savings.
Having a job that pays $5,000 a month would be a dream come true. Having a job that pays mega bucks each month so I have $5,000 leftover to put into savings? I wish!
I fall into the category where putting $100 or $200 a month into my retirement savings is more realistic. That is, if I don’t need that money to buy groceries or for something more immediately urgent.
Stop taking advice from people who haven’t been in your financial situation and haven’t accomplished what you are trying to do.
Learn the difference between someone’s financial opinion and someone’s educated financial advice. Even if that education comes from the school of hard knocks.
We don’t need to take advice from a millionaire telling us we can save money if we quit it with the avocado toast and the Starbucks coffee when we don’t usually splurge on these items.
This is unhelpful advice that doesn’t apply to our situation.
2. Get rid of money saving obstacles
Perhaps getting rid of money saving obstacles can be more extreme that it needs to be. Only you can figure this one out.
I was married to a man who was a spender, not a saver, and ran up the credit card debt. It took a couple of years after we split up before I was able to turn my finances around.
One of the biggest reasons for divorce is money issues. Are you holding on to a loveless marriage with constant money fights because you think you can’t survive financially on your own? Or is there a better life ahead of you?
Are you paying money every month on a storage unit? Can you find somewhere cheaper to live? Even if that means moving out of your area. Do you pay for a gym membership you don’t use?
Seriously. Go for a walk and figure out everything in your life that is pissing you off, costing you money, and being an obstacle to your savings goals. Then get rid of it. I know, I know. Easier said than done. If I can figure these things out, there’s no reason why you can’t too!
3. Track your spending
You might think there is no room for finding extra money until you keep track of what you’re spending your money on. I use this spreadsheet I found on the Boomer and Echo website.
Make sure you click the “enable editing” button or you won’t be able to save any numbers you input.
I realize it’s a budget spreadsheet and I’m not a making and keeping a budget person. Instead, I look at this as a backwards budget and use it to track my spending. It’s handy because it has just about everything you spend money on each month already listed. No need to make up your own spreadsheet!
The website is OK, but it’s more geared to high income earners, you know those people who can save thousands of dollars a month because they have a high paying job and no debt. Not relatable at all.
The point is, once you have a rough idea of how much you spend each month, you can look for areas that you can cut back on or eliminate. At least until your finances improve.
4. Opportunity versus cost
Did you get asked to be a maid of honor or a bridesmaid at a good friend’s wedding? This can be an expensive endeavor. Not only do you have to buy your own dress, shoes, makeup, and hair, but you are responsible for party costs and maybe a girl’s last fling trip to Las Vegas.
Are you able to say: “Thanks for thinking of me, and thanks for asking, but financially I can’t swing it.”
I’m the type of person who can decline wedding invitations. Seriously. I’ve been to two weddings in my life. The last one decades ago!
Do you need the newest iPhone? What else you could you do with the money you save by using your older phone for another year or two?
Another way I look at things I’m thinking of buying is how many hours or days do I have to work in order to pay for this? If I go out for dinner and drinks with the girls on Friday night, that means I have to work two, three, maybe four hours or more in order to pay for this outing.
How many hours do I have to work to buy that cute pair of boots?
5. Do you take advantage of all financial assistance programs?
It’s too late for people to take advantage of financial assistance that we received in 2020 after the coronavirus pandemic hit. So, I’m just using my experience as an example for others to seek out available help.
I was able to get financial assistance from many programs. The biggest was CERB with $2,000 a month that I was eligible to collect for five months. Because I was collecting CERB, I became eligible for a program in British Columbia that assisted renters with $300/month that was paid to the landlord, not the tenant, but was very helpful for five months. I was also eligible for a one time $1,000 payment that the province of BC was providing to residents affected by the pandemic due to job loss or hours slashed.
Like I said, I use this only as an example, because none of these programs are available today.
The BC Housing program did contact me after the five months of rental assistance and alerted me to a program I was eligible for because I’d turned 60. This helps low-income seniors with rent. Now I use the word “helps” very loosely. I applied and was eligible for $60 a month. Really? That’s zero help in this part of the world where it’s good luck Charlie to find a rental for less than $1500 a month. Sixty bucks one way or the other isn’t going to help me pay my rent. When that $60 hit my bank account, I transferred it to a savings account.
Browse your local or federal government websites or do a web search. You never know what financial assistance programs are available until you start looking.
6. Rental assistance programs
I just want to expound on financial assistance for renters a bit more.
BC Housing owns apartment buildings and townhouse complexes that are rented to low income people for $1000 a month, maybe less. And these are nice looking, well maintained places.
Requirements are the annual income level to be under $58,000 and household assets below $100,000. If you live in BC, click this link for more details. https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/rental-housing/subsidized-housing
The unfortunate thing is these buildings have long wait lists. If you qualify, still get your name in. Even if you’re waiting 3, 4, 5, 8 years, you’ll be glad when a rental unit comes available.
Your area probably has them too. Your elected official has an office. Visit or phone and ask the staff. This is part of what they do to assist their constituents. Put them together with programs they need. When you change your mindset about money, you’ll learn that spending less on necessities means that you can save that excess money.
7. Get your hands dirty
Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.
There’s always a job that someone doesn’t want to do and is willing to pay someone to do it for them.
Learn how to set rates for side hustles where you can make the most amount of money in a short amount of time.
Deposit that extra income into your emergency savings or retirement fund.
Dirty side hustle ideas:
- Contact local businesses and ask who is picking up the trash in their parking lots. If no one, ask if they can use your service.
- Cat litter box cleaner
- Scoop poop from dog owner’s backyards
- Help people pack and move
- Long hair? Get a haircut and sell your hair online.
- Clean recreational vehicles
8. Pay yourself first
A piece of financial advice I always read is pay yourself first or automate your savings.
So this little gem means when you get paid, transfer money into your savings account before paying your rent and bills.
And perhaps it can help. If you transfer $20 or $50 from your bank account into your savings account the day you get paid, you might not notice that money is no longer available to be spent. And after a year you have $400 or maybe $1,000 in that savings account that was literally painless for you.
If you have a job with benefits that include an employer matching retirement savings program, take advantage of it! The money comes out of your paycheck before it even hits the bank account. You can’t miss what you didn’t have.
For example, at my job my employer matches up to 4% of my paycheck contributions. In addition, there’s an option to pay more money into this retirement savings. I opted for an extra $75 from each paycheck. Nearly two years later I have about $10,000 sitting in that retirement account with me barely noticing. No pain, but lots of gain!
Right now with labor shortages and employers offering all kinds of perks, I recommend you look for a job that has a retirement savings match program as part of the benefits. And if your current employer offers this – sign up! Let’s be smart with our money, ladies. Never turn down free money from your employer.
9. Use no-fee banking
I’ve discussed this a lot in other posts. You can find a no-fee bank account at a credit union instead of using one of the big banks. Why are you paying someone for the privilege of keeping your money in their bank?
Transfer your money and take that $10 or $15 a month you used to spend on service fees and put in your new savings account instead.
Even though these bank accounts don’t charge a monthly service fee for your withdrawals, deposits, and bill payments, keep your eyes open for hidden fees this “no fee” bank account might ding you on.
10. Adjust your spending
I needed to reassess my spending and how much money I spent in several categories when gas and grocery prices shot up over the past year. Inflation is hurting a lot of people who can no longer afford to set aside a little money each month.
I was able to keep my monthly grocery spending to around $300, about the same as always. And when I say my grocery spending, I include other things that I bought at the grocery store, whether or not I consumed it. This includes clothes, cleaning supplies, and pet food.
When it comes to groceries, the choices come down to eating less or buying cheaper food. I’ve noticed the store’s name brand products are quickly being depleted from the shelves because they’re cheaper. That means I either buy a more expensive product or do without.
Gas prices hit me hard. I usually spend around $200 a month in gas, and before I knew it, that shot up to $300. I live close enough to the border that I can drive down to Washington and fill up the tank on cheaper gas. My monthly gas bill is back in the $200 range again.
The other shock to my finances came when the cost to board my horse jumped from $575 a month to $750.
How do I adjust? Like everyone else, I put less money into my savings.
10 simple ways to change your mindset about saving money
And there we have it … 10 simple ways to change your mindset about saving money.
It’s not easy saving money on a low income, but it is so worth it. One day you look at your account and realize – “Wow! There’s a few hundred dollars more in my savings account than I had a year ago.”
That really motivates a person to keep on saving!
Don’t let any setbacks stop you from the future you want.
When you figure out you CAN save money and you WANT to save money and can change your mindset about saving money, you will have the power to succeed.
Published by Cheryl @ The Lifestyle Digs on April 9, 2023.