It's easy to fall off track when saving up for special goals like a new home, a new car or a new addition to the household. Dinners and drinks here, concerts and events there – expenses can add up quickly. Before you know it you have fallen behind in your savings plan and wealth management.
Don't despair though, as these clever budgeting hacks may be just what you need to avoid spending temptations, achieve your financial goals, and even grow your savings.
1. Visualise it. Are you working towards a tangible goal, such as a new car or home? If so, constant reminders of your objective may help you stick to your budget and inspire you to find ways to increase savings to meet your goal faster.
Post pictures of your goal around your home and office. Tape one to the corner of your bathroom mirror and on the fridge door. Use a digital image of the goal as your screensaver on your desktop, your laptop, tablet, and smartphone. You will be faced with reminders of what you are working towards everywhere you go.
2. Create subtle reminders. Reset passwords on your digital devices to remind yourself of savings or debt-paying goals. For example, say you want to pay off your credit-card balance. Set your password to something like ‘pay down credit card’. If you are saving for a home, set another password to ‘home down payment’.
Be careful not to use the same password for every device or online account. Use rather multiple financial goals as password inspiration, making it more difficult for electronic fraudsters to get into your accounts. (As an added bonus, these passwords can have a combination of the letters, symbols, and numbers often required by password generators.)
3. Celebrate it. Sticking to a budget and a financial plan is hard work, so celebrate small achievements, such as paying off the first debt, or the first chunk of saved money towards your new car. You should also include an entertainment fund as part of your budget. Even if this is just a small amount every week, using it to celebrate milestones in your long-term goals can help motivate you to stay committed to your financial goals.
4. Avoid temptation. We all have them: Friends, places, and activities that drag us down into budget-busting territory. Your best bet for dealing with them is to flat out avoid them.
Change your route to work to avoid the coffee shop selling those delicious but expensive lattes. Don't go to the bar for ‘just another drink’. Wanting to save money does demand a little effort.
5. Lower your interest to maximise savings. How's your credit? If it's good, call your lenders to ask about qualifying for reduced rates on your loans, credit lines and, even credit cards.
Don't get discouraged when pursuing wealth management goals, even if they seem out of reach. Stay on track and try one or more of these budgeting tips today – your progress may surprise you.
The author is the former Head of Brand & Communications at MetLife, Bangladesh.
This article is written for general information purposes only. The information contained does not constitute legal, financial, purchasing, and/or investment advice and neither does it make any recommendation or endorsement regarding the companies and/or services mentioned herein. Although care has been taken to ensure information accuracy in this article, MetLife, Bangladesh does not warrant or represent, expressly or impliedly as to the accuracy or completeness of the information herein and in no event shall MetLife, Bangladesh be liable to the reader or to anyone else for any claim, howsoever arising, out of or in relation to this article. All applicable laws, regulations, and current MetLife, Bangladesh rules should be referred to in conjunction with this article.
This article was published on July 31, 2016 in Dhaka Tribune