Personal Finance

10 Mantras to Help You Meet Your Financial Goals

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6. “Why don’t you come over here instead?”

If a chunk of your current spending is going to beers, cocktails, and dinners out, you’re going to have to cut down on your going out budget. Not going out is, of course, the easiest way to do this, but if there are other people in your life that need convincing (the girls, the gang, your spouse), you’ve got to entice them to come on over. Keep cheap wine or beer on hand, have good lighting/candles, and always show your guests a good time.

7. “This isn’t helping me reach my goals.”

It’s easy to rationalize purchases: we need fancy haircuts so we can feel good about ourselves; fancy clothes to be respected at work; expensive massages because we deserve them! In the moment, it might be true, but it will do you well to get out of the moment and into taking a longer view. It might be fun to buy $100 boots, and they might even turn your day around, but are those boots helping your reach your goal of being debt-free? No, no they are not.

8. “$10 each weekday is $200 each month.”

Sometimes saving money is all about perspective: Your daily run to Chipotle or the deli may only cost $10, but if you do that everyday, that’s $200 a month. Don’t let yourself forget that.

9. “Those shoes are half a plane ticket/minimum payment/mortgage payment”

Find meaningful terms in which to think about money. If you want to go to Hawaii, a plane ticket is $300. Those $100 boots you want are 1/3 of a ticket; add on what you’re likely to spend on dinner and drinks tonight, and you’re over halfway there. Money isn’t just money — it’s what is going to either make or break your goals.

10. “It’s going to feel so good to be debt free/on that plane/in my own house.”

When we spend money on our wants instead of our needs, what we’re really spending money on is our feelings. We want to feel cool, so we buy designer sunglasses. We want to feel drunk so we buy expensive cocktails. We want to feel important so we buy expensive clothes. Acknowledge that you’re spending money on a feeling, and then visualize how much better it will be to save the money for the ultimate feeling, whether it’s to pay off your debt; put a down payment on a house; or take a big trip. You’re not giving up pleasure in the moment; you’re saving for bigger pleasure down the line. And that should make you happy, even without the new clothes.

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