As someone who works hard at self-improvement on many levels, I’m always mindful of useful aphorisms to help foster growth. One good one is that “actions dictate outcomes, but thoughts dictate actions.”
In personal finance as in the rest of life, how you think determines how you act, and consequently, the results you get.
Quite simply, if you’re unhappy with the results you’re getting, then it’s time to change your process.
How Do You Think About Money?
How do you think about money? Do you think of it as a utility, something that’s necessary, but needs to be conserved and looked after?
Or do you think of it as a commodity, something that slips through your fingers like grains of sand? Does not splurging on what you want to buy feel like a hardship rather than a sensible outlook?
Your mindset when it comes to money will determine what you do with it and how much you end up with. Money may not be able to buy happiness, but not saving any isn’t the road to happiness either.
Saving vs. Spending Isn’t an Either/Or
In order to become a better saver, stop thinking about saving versus splurging as an either/or choice. Instead, put “saving” in the same category as “paying the bills.”
Putting money aside into savings should be a routine exercise like paying the rent or the mortgage, except that you’re paying a bill that’s due to yourself.
Once saving is squared away every month like that, splurging on something that you want, provided that your disposable income can support it doesn’t have to be either foolish or guilt-inducing.
Cultivating a paycheck-to-paycheck mentality in order build your savings can be a positive mental state.
If you’re unhappy with your financial situation, start by changing how you feel about how you spend your money. Work on changing what you do with it and you’ll end up with a result that you’re happier with.
About the author: Lee Distad consults with CE integration firms on design, installation and project management processes and Best Practices, and offers provides professional copy writing services for websites, brochures, and marketing initiatives. Visit him at www.leedistad.com.