Managing money. It seems to come easily and naturally to some people, while others really struggle to get their finances under control. What if you’re not one of life’s natural savers? Are you doomed to a hand to mouth existence forever, stretching out your monthly pay packet, splurging whenever cash comes in and then regretting it or getting trapped in a cycle of fast cash loans bad credit? Can you change if you’re ‘bad with money’? How do you overcome your spending urges? Is it all hopeless?
The good news is, there are ways to turn yourself from a money sinner to a money saint – and it doesn’t have to be as painful as you might expect. There are some mind hacks that you can use to rewire your thinking and reprogram your habits, to finally turn things around. Psychology experts confirm that the mind is like a muscle – retrain it and strengthen your financial health, just as you would your abs. Here’s how:
Set Visual Reminders of Your Money Goals
If you’re naturally an impulsive person, you may find the sight of that must-have gadget or pair of shoes irresistible in an ad or a shop window. So use that same impulse to make saving more attractive. Get a picture of whatever you want to save for – a new car, a holiday destination – and print out several copies. Then leave them in places where they will trigger a reminder of what you’re working towards – in your wallet, or wrapped around your credit card, or it could be the screensaver on your phone. Giving yourself a chance to think before hitting ‘add to basket’ or paying for something makes it a conscious, cognitive process rather than an instinctive decision.
Say No To Upgrades
Retailers are masters of psychology and everywhere from your local coffee shop to the sports stadium knows the power of upselling. You will be offered every change to ‘upgrade’ your purchase – from add-on insurance cover to a bigger sized drink, and these deals can seem to make perfect sense. However, if you automatically agree to every upgrade, that’s a lot of extra money over time. So make it a habit to decline when they’re offered. Most of them aren’t worth the cost.
Play The One-Month Waiting Game
It’s easy to be seized by that ‘gotta have it now’ feeling when it comes to something we’d really love. But those kind of purchases are rarely a necessity, and often we come to regret being so impulsive. The best way to prevent this? Make a wish list. Just like it was Christmas time, make a list and wait, to give your brain a cooling off period. See, some of us are hardwired to think that getting the thing=happiness. But studies show that this isn’t at all true, and the joy that comes with a purchase fades really quickly after the initial dopamine hit, leaving you with unwanted debt or less money towards your savings goals. So when you see a non-essential that you’d really like? Instead, just take a picture and add it to a wish list saved on your phone. If you still really want it in a month’s time? Go ahead and get it. But you’ll be surprised by how many things that seemed essential in the moment really aren’t. Even just 24 hours of cooling off time can have the same effect – the hack is to put distance between yourself and an impulse, rather than just denying it, which usually makes it worse.