A picture is worth one thousand words.
It has been said that it takes from 4-7 positive comments to overcome 1 negative one.
How can we use these three statements to improve our spending habits?
If you made a visual spending plan and tried out new self-talk each month, would that make a difference? Might that keep you from derailing yourself? I challenge you to make it so.
For example, you could find a photo of your financial goal and place it in a prominent position-where you can see it every day.
- Try a sign that says $500 savings balance/emergency fund. (save this in one year<$10/week!)
- Take a photo of your full refrigerator-for someone trying to cut down on eating out.
- Post an image of your public library card-so you have the visual trigger for downloading music, book reading or borrowing a movie from the library instead of purchasing any of those items online. Or send yourself a text message to that effect!
I have three points here that go beyond the usual budgeting tips.
- How you talk to yourself about your spending matters
- Use visuals as well as words to make the point to yourself (and your family, if need be)
- Use affirming language, praise and encouragement to support your behaviors.
Instead of, “I wish I could pay my bills on time”, say to yourself, “When I pay my bills on time, I feel good and I will have more money to spend, because I won’t be paying late fees.
Instead of, ” I must have that new song from iTunes right away”, remind yourself of your online music spending plan, and figure out if you have the funds this week. When you match up your plan with your spending, it is a powerful feeling and you can reinforce it. Oh-“I don’t have more money in that bucket this week, I’ll place this song on the top of the list next week”.
iTunes (Photo credit: ʇhamin – free lancer)
Instead of saying to yourself, “I’ll add to my emergency savings account at the end of the month, or at the next pay period”, say,”I will send a sum each pay period to my emergency fund via direct deposit, so that I am able to meet small unexpected expenses without using my credit card”. Doesn’t that feel more powerful?
Save Money (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)
When you do something right, affirm that behavior in your head and heart to reward yourself. It is important to acknowledge these smaller steps as you build new habits.
Say, “Wow, I did that”; or “It will be so cool to see my savings account grow”; or even, “I didn’t know that homemade sweet potato fries would be so tasty”.