Habits are not created by thinking alone. They take weeks of deliberate practice to form. If you want to start saving up for a better lifestyle in the future, you need to take action and make a start now. After all, there is no better time to make a change than the present.
Typically, habits were thought to take a minimum of 21 days consecutive days to form, however, a later 2009 study has shown that on average, it takes roughly 66 days to create a new automatic behaviour*. Saving is no different and just like any new skill, it can also be learned over time.
It is important that you don’t think of ‘saving money’ as just a goal for you to complete and be done with, but rather as an important integrated lifestyle change to adopt for the long-term.
It’s been shown that if 2 people start saving the same amount of money each month but 25 and 35 respectively, the 25 year old will have almost double the amount of money by the age of 65!
Here are 3 small changes that you can make to your routine now that will pay off in the long run:
1) Start by saving a small amount at a time
It’s not about how much you are saving, instead, it’s about building up a habit of saving consistently, whether that be daily or monthly. Saving becomes much easier if you break it down into small amounts as you won’t even notice the money going.
For example, if you were to put away just £30 a week into your savings account and stick with it, you could potentially end up with over £1440 by the end of the year. To be put that into perspective, with a 1% annual interest rate you would receive £7.82 more a year, at 5% annual interest rate you could gain an extra £39.60.
2) Constantly evaluate your purchase decisions
We don’t always buy things rationally. Sometimes we might see a new pair of trainers or a new smartphone and think that we need it right now. It’s these emotional impulses that cause us to overspend and leave us falling behind in our pursuit of a better financial future.
The next time you get the urge to buy something, instead of pulling out your wallet, make a note on your phone or bookmark the page and save it for later. A few days later, revisit the item and see if you still have the same urge to buy. Chances are, you may not have the same interest anymore and potentially saved yourself from buying something you might regret later.
3) Track your spending
Sometimes you may just want to treat yourself to a fancy dinner or even something as small as a morning latte. Spending a little here and is not always a problem. It only becomes an issue if you make a habit of it as eventually, it all adds up.
Catching yourself before your spending becomes an issue is the most important part. An easy way to do this is to consistently track your spending as it will make you more aware of your outgoings. This can be done with either a pen and paper, an excel spreadsheet or an app.
If you want an easy to use, stress-free way of tracking your daily and monthly spending, the Zeux app can help you reach your savings goals faster. With instant notifications every time you spend and a screen that shows you your available balances and recent transactions, you can keep a closer eye on your money.
Now that you have a better grasp on how to create healthy habits towards saving money, you can start to build a strong foundation and ability to invest that money into yourself or even save up for a stress free retirement. The best time to make saving a lifestyle habit is now.
Zeux provides an easier way for you to track your daily and monthly spending to help you reach your end of year savings goals. Download the app now on iOS and Android.
*Disclaimer: The information summarised here does not constitute as financial advice or other professional advice and is general in nature. It does not take into account your specific circumstances and should not be acted on without a full understanding of your current situation and future goals and objectives. If you are unsure about how to deal with your money, always consult a fully qualified financial advisor.