5We’ve all got financially dependent dreams in life, whether it’s to save up for a holiday with the family, to get out of debt or to start a business. To achieve these dreams, we need to save money. That’s just the reality of things, there’s not really any way around it.
And yet, so often, we stay stuck in the dream phase. We keep imagining what it would be like, but we never seem to find the will to start saving. We just continue going on as we always have, and life passes us slowly by and we still haven’t achieved our dreams.
Sound familiar? Yeah, to me too…
So how can you break free from this circle to finally live your dream? How can you save money and set it aside, when you already live paycheck to paycheck, and you know that there’s absolutely no way you can set even a cent aside?
There are 2 major factors that need to change if you want to be able to set that money aside. It’s all nice and good to have a list of things where you can cut costs (no, I mean it, it’s great!), but it’s not enough. If you don’t change these 2 things first, then chances are you won’t be able to keep up the savings for very long.
So, without further ado, here are the 2 most important shifts you need to make!
The mindset you’re in is going to influence everything in your life, including whether or not you’ll set money aside for your dreams.
If you’re in the wrong mindset, no matter how hard you try to set money aside, you’ll always find yourself spending it a short amount of time later. And this is all because of your mindset. Your brain is telling you it’s ok to spend that money because you absolutely need it now and there’s no way around it. It’s telling you that you can set money aside again next week or next month for that “other goal”.
Because you’re too vague. Because you’re not fully convinced, deep down, that you need to save this money.
You see, it’s hard-wired into our DNA for our brain to protect us from discomfort. And saving money is uncomfortable. We all know that. Setting that money aside for a vague, possible future happiness is ridiculous. We all want to spend it now, right? Eat out, go to a movie, buy a special gift for our children or buy that cute outfit.
We’re all like this.
But we can change. If we manage to shift our mindset, to tell our brain that our priority is to set money aside every week for our dream, then we make a real change. Then we’ll have a real impact on our life and our savings.
But how can we do this?
How to change your mindset
There are several ways to change your mindset, but all of them take conscious effort. You will need to work on this, and in the beginning, it will be hard. But as with everything in life, the more you practice it, the easier it will get.
Here are some methods you can apply today:
- Change the way you talk to yourself: the way you talk to yourself (in your mind) hugely affects the way you see yourself and your abilities. In the context of saving money, it affects how important it is. Think of these 2 sentences: “I’d love to be able to go on a vacation someday” vs “Our dream is to go on that vacation. I’ll set aside $3000 over the next 6 months so that we can go.” Which one is the most effective, do you think? It doesn’t take a genius to see it, right? So next time you think about saving money, think about how you’re framing it. Are you framing it as an option, a nice to have? Or as something that needs to be done to achieve something bigger?
- Surround yourself with people in the same mindset: this one is kind of a no-brainer. If you surround yourself with people who are huge spenders and spend half of their waking life at the mall buying stuff, then you’re going to be tempted to do the same. Again, it’s in our nature do to like those around us, so that we feel included. So use that to your advantage and hang out with people who live below their means. People who know how to manage money and are able to set aside a healthy portion of their income every month to reach whatever their goals are. Very naturally, you’ll start to mirror their behaviors and start spending less as well.
- Create a new habit: If you want your mindset shift to be effective in your everyday life, then you need your habits to go along with it. If you’re trying to set money aside, then frugal habits are important. Now, I’m not saying you need to cut out all of the fun in your life. This would be counter-productive, especially if you’re used to going out and treating yourself a lot, as you would feel deprived. It’s the same as with dieting, this doesn’t help long-term. So it’s ok to start small. But begin new habits that will help you sustain this new mindset. Begin buying clothes from second-hand stores, or getting food at a discount in bulk and freezing it. With both of these solutions, you’re not cutting anything out of your life, yet you’re already making substantial savings.
Once you’ve changed your mindset, there still is one more change you need to make to achieve your goal.
You need to shift your priorities.
Even if you’re in the right mindset, you won’t be able to get far if your priorities aren’t right.
Even if you change the way you’re talking to yourself, hang out with frugal people and change your habits, if you haven’t set the right priorities you won’t go far.
You need to be clear on why you want to save money.
Like I said before, it doesn’t matter if you’ve decided you want to save up for a trip to Disneyland or to start your own business.
What matters is that you make it a priority.
Yes, I’m sure that there are other things you need to save money for as well, such as emergencies or car repairs. So am I saying you should stop setting money aside for that? Absolutely not.
What I am saying though, is that you need to make your other goal (say saving money to start a business) a priority and not an afterthought.
If you’re already setting money aside for emergencies, then set more aside for your goal. Don’t think you can tap into whatever you’ve already set aside. If you do that, then it can go the other way too, and you’ll start tapping into your “dream savings” for emergencies.
That’s why you need to be clear on your priorities.
If you make these two shifts, you’ll finally be in the right mindset to really save money and reach your goals! Next step is to start doing just that.
Related: Read my post about the 52-week savings plan to set aside $5000 in a year to start a business here! And get your 52-week savings plan here or at the bottom of this post get on the right track!
In the end
DECIDE that this is important to you to start setting a bit more aside each month to reach that goal. DECIDE.
You’re the only one who can do that, but you can do it. Make that conscious decision and begin to change your life. It’s for your dream, remember that!!
What about you? Have you managed to set aside a large sum of money to reach your dreams? How did you do it? Any tips to share? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear!
And in the meantime, take care!
P.S. Don’t forget to pin this for later!
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