In this post I thought I’d answer a question that came through to me:
“I try to save money every single month, but it never seems to work. I put money aside each time, but by the end of each month, I realise there’s something I still need to pay for, so the money has to come out of my savings again. What am I doing wrong? I am so frustrated; I feel like I’m never going to get what I want.” – Anon
It’s Not Just You
This is a really common scenario that I see all over the internet in various different guises, and perhaps you’ve felt like this too? I certainly have; it was at the very start of my money journey, and I was really struggling, trying to do everything. So, I want to answer this as fully as I can, and I hope that the following suggestions will help you to move forward.
Check Your Money Mindset
Mindset is so important when it comes to your financial journey. Without the right mindset, it feels really hard, and self-sabotage is an easy trap to fall into along the way. When you keep saying to yourself that saving money never seems to work for you, it never will. It becomes a belief cycle within your subconscious, stuck on a repeat. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Instead, focus on the positives. For example, think about how great you are with budgeting and saving. Even if you don’t fully believe it; keep telling yourself. This is where you can set yourself some affirmations, such as:
- I am great at saving money!
- I can save easily.
- I can save money easily.
- I can always save money.
- I am amazing at saving money.
Next, change them into afformations, so you’re asking yourself empowering questions, such as:
- Why am I so amazing at saving money?
- Why am I so good with savings?
- Why will I always be able to reach my goals easily?
By asking these questions, you’re challenging your subconscious to provide a much more powerful and positive response. Asking questions like this enables you to see where the opportunities are. So, to move forward, get in the right mindset: change your thinking and change up the wording you use when listening to your thoughts.
A Belief is a Thought You Keep Thinking
In our membership group, we recently spoke about the Law of Positive Attraction, from Abraham Hicks, where I shared the following clip:
“A belief is a thought you keep thinking.”
Simply put, if a belief is a thought you keep thinking and your thoughts are negative, it follows that your beliefs will be too. So, if you can change a common thought and repeat it to yourself, the belief will follow.
Where Are You Already Successful?
While you might not be so great with money at home, perhaps you manage a budget for a team or a project really well at work. Use these skills from where you’re already doing well and bring it to how you manage your money at home. If you’re already organised in another area of your life and doing really well, be honest, don’t be humble! Transfer that amazing expertise to your finances.
Review Your Budget
Are you trying to do too much? It’s a regular problem: You get really motivated; you’re fired up to do well, and you’re trying to do everything you possibly can to win. So, you budget for every scenario you can think of. You want to start investing, and have money set aside for every possible eventuality.
The problem here is you could be trying to save too much, and it’s not realistic for your lifestyle. It could be that you’re trying to be too frugal and are perhaps punishing yourself for getting into debt. Then when your friend suggests going to the pub, it’s perhaps something you normally do every month, but haven’t budgeted for because your money has been going towards your savings.
Of course, you could stay at home and not go to the pub if it’s no longer sustainable. You have to do what works for your lifestyle. Undoubtedly, there will be some sacrifices you’ll have to make. Perhaps visit the pub less often, so you appreciate it when you do go.
But equally, don’t restrict yourself so much that you get to the end of the month and realise that you’ve done nothing. You’ll risk blowing it all and using your savings.
Slow Things Down
Whatever stage you’re at with your money journey, it doesn’t have to be completed by tomorrow. It’s taken me 5 years to get to a point where I’m debt free and my budget is at a place that’s right for me. Life changes. You might find you get where you need to be a lot quicker, but don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others.
Some people seem to be able to pay off debt really fast or reach huge savings goals within 6 months. This is not realistic for everyone. You could have kids, or be single, or live in a really expensive area. It’s simply not sustainable to achieve the same level of success; all of our circumstances are different. Plus, a lot of what you see is clickbait, and it’s not necessarily realistic for the majority of us.
What Are Your Spending Weaknesses?
What always – without fail – gets you to spend money? A promotional email or advert? Perhaps a friend frequently asks you to meet for a coffee? Or is it a certain time of the week, or a takeaway when you’re too tired to cook? If it becomes a regular habit, it’s worth watching what’s causing those weaknesses. Where are you struggling to say no?
Consider these triggers, then put something in place to stop it from happening too often. For example, tell your friends that you’re trying to save money, and ask for their support. Suggest doing some things for free and bringing a coffee from home.
Keep Your Savings Separate
I’d also suggest having your savings in a completely separate account from your usual bank. You could maybe even use a bank or building society in a different part of the country. It’s been reported that having an account in the opposite end of the country can somehow make it easier to save.
Make Saving Fun
There are lots of fun ways to save money to make it easier, like my Penny Challenge. Or you could pay yourself each time you do the laundry. Another option is to set up a bingo card, so each time you have a £5 note or other denomination, you can tick them off and put the money to one side. You could keep a savings pot which you can only access by breaking it – this would be a great place to save all of your £2 coins.
As you can see, there are lots of ways to save money without having to put £20 aside each month. However, if you do automate your savings, it’s removing the manual effort of having to remember to do it. As soon as you get paid, you can arrange for a set amount of money to be saved automatically into a separate bank account.
If you find that difficult to maintain then do try some of these games mentioned above. The Penny Challenge can save you nearly £700 in a year if you do it every day.
There are several apps available now that can round up your pennies when you spend money. For example, if you spend £4.99, your chosen app can save the penny and transfer it to a separate savings pot. Another option you could utilise would be to have regular amounts transferred, depending on your savings goals and the money you have available in your account.
You can also change the frequency of the automatic savings, so it’s not too overwhelming. Some apps to consider are Chip, Monzo, Starling and Plum, which are separate from your main bank account and are great if you struggle with savings. You’ll be amazed by how quickly they can build up.
A lot of the time your money situation comes down to your mindset. Also, it takes time to feel comfortable having savings if you’re not used to it. If there is a part of you that’s uncomfortable about having savings, address that and start small. Start with small amounts, build it gradually, and you will achieve your goal.
If you want more support with this, why not check out my private members club for a 30 day $1 test-drive?