How to stay motivated while saving money?

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  • #93556 Reply

      Hoping I can start a words of encouragement thread here.

      This year has been hard for my will power in sticking to my budget. Feeling like I’m at the beginning of a very long road of saving. I also don’t want to work anymore. I just want to have fun reading books and spending time on my hobbies.

      Can anyone share their optimistic thoughts, deinfluencing products, or just positive stories on times they struggled and persevered?

      Posting anonymously because I’m embarrassed to post this.

      #93557 Reply

        Saving is hard at times but also very rewarding. We have only been contributing to our 401(k) plans (didn’t start investing yet), but when you see how much of a difference it makes to save a little bit every month, it’s exciting and addictive.

        Think of how much better off you’ll be down the road. Saving doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy your hobbies too.

        Suggested: What are your 3 favorite life hacks for saving money?

        Good luck in your journey.

        #93558 Reply

          You have the unique power to craft your life. Don’t give that power away by busting your budget. Take your power. Influence yourself into liking some free activities. Create a spending challenge or do a no spend month. You are better than this.

          #93559 Reply

            Don’t give up on finding your people: people who want to come over for a cup Trader Joe’s (teabag) tea for a silent book club (cost 20 cents each) and who enjoy the hobbies you enjoy and want to do them together without spending money. Keep looking for a better job. Until you get one, the people you spend time with outside of work – and how you spend alone time outside of work – will make a world of difference. Hugs. The years end up feeling short, but some days are unbearably long.

            #93560 Reply

              The thing that worked for us (now successfully FIREd) was “paying ourselves first” meaning all savings taken out and stashed in retirement accounts and brokerage accounts before we ever saw it.

              #93561 Reply

                I’m at the other end of the rainbow. You can do this.

                We had a 100% burn rate till our mid to late 30s. Never made over 80k household income (and that was toward the end). Matter of fact we were living in a tent on the national forest with $20 cash when we started. Fast forward 30 years and we retired with double commas in our retirement accounts, living in a paid for home we built on 40 acres. True I didn’t retire till I was 66 back in 2019, but to me FIRE means Financial Independence Retired Earlier than I ever thought I could.

                If we could do it, you can too!

                Intentionality is a powerful thing.

                Have you seen: What money-saving tips or tricks did you use this week?

                #93562 Reply

                  If you don’t want to work and just enjoy life and have fun then you are going to have to have less desires to buy things. Ultimately our desire to buy things puts us in debt. As long as you’re in debt you have to work to make payments. Debt=Slavery.

                  If you don’t want to work get out of debt and buy less stuff.

                  #93563 Reply

                    I paid off $30,000 in credit card debt accumulated by a spouse not working and going back to school. I stayed focused and realized that with time…Everything would get better… and it did.
                    We were able to start saving and created a different type of life.

                    #93564 Reply

                      I have a lot of spreadsheets. Some are basic budgeting/projections, but some are me putting down what if scenarios in detail so I can test viability. What if my husband takes disability? What if we sold everything and moved to a cheap house in the middle of nowhere? What if I quit my high paying job and become a minimum wage worker?

                      Each one tells a different story: A different age where I can pull the I QUIT trigger, a different level of ease/comfort, and of travel/fulfillment. The more scenarios and data, the better…because I can see how small changes don’t just change my numbers but my life. I know with relative accuracy, exactly what would happen if I saved more, less, changed my lifestyle a dozen different ways. I can really envision a dozen lives. Every time I think about spending, I think about which life that is pushing me towards, which makes my purchases intentional vs. frivolous.

                      Step 2 is then playing with the calcs in each scenario.. If I save $100 more per month, do I get to retire a year sooner, 6 months, a week? Etc.

                      When I struggled to save at first, I could literally see, an extra $x today = x days freedom later. That was very compelling. Save the Starbucks a few times a week = 6 months sooner?! I can do that!

                      But now that I’m middle aged, the goals and thinking shifts. I have enough capital that I earn more in interest and dividends than I personally sock away, and I don’t have as much compound interest time. So saving an extra $100 now doesn’t shave as much time off my sentence, so now I sometimes spend to enjoy the now since it won’t help me get there substantially faster…but because I know this, backed by data, no guilt when I do it.

                      I’m coming to realize at this point, can’t ease up on saving, but don’t necessarily have to beat myself up for not doing more…what I need now is to stay the course, and give my money time to do it’s thing.

                      Also, husband wants to move to Panama in retirement, and it’s a PITA to move possessions, so now every new purchase goes through this criteria: will it last long enough that I might have to ship it? If yes, is it worth shipping vs replacing? If I was moving in a year, would I still feel I need this right now or could I wait to buy it? Even though we likely won’t move for many years, it puts the idea of stuff into the perspective of potential burden instead of just a shiny new thing. Cuz I have to decide to keep or toss literally everything at some point in next few years…and that takes the appeal outta long term purchases like furniture, cars etc resulting in us more frequently saying “let’s just make do with it as is for now”. You can always revisit that choice later.

                      Consider browsing: Is there any way to save more money?

                      #93565 Reply

                        The trick is finding joy in everything. But the hard stuff is the good stuff. The fun stuff, the reading/relaxing, is like candy or treats; small doses, but you can’t live off of that. Now, if you can find a grind that’s interesting and fun, still get paid, then you’re really cooking!

                        #93566 Reply

                          I have incredibly inexpensive hobbies. I LOVE video games and buy them 5 years after they drop so that they’re only like $10-20 instead of $50-$100. My favorite game is darn near free: Grand Theft Auto Online. I pay $60/yr to play it. I love hiking, which is free as I live near a river and in Georgia with tons of free parks ($5 to park). I bought all the clothes I mostly need and want already on sale over a 3-year grind working for corporate, and I bought over 20 pairs of shoes from DSW on sale and as a VIP member. I don’t need anymore. I work from home now so all my meals are cooked unless I get a coupon or discount at healthy casual options like Panera or Jimmy John’s, again as a VIP member with discounts.

                          You just gotta make a process and trust it. I call it ‘set it and forget it’. The only subscription I have is HBO. Otherwise, I buy in bulk from Walmart+ and Amazon and have their credit cards for cashback and their streaming perks for free!

                          Brainstorm on how to make your hobbies free and how to enjoy living on less.

                          Personally, I’ll probably work a fun remote part time job from 55-70 just to have some structure and spending money when I get older. I just turned 40 and will FIRE probably around 50ish.

                          Give these a glance: What are some out-of-the-box ideas for saving money?

                          #93567 Reply

                            This seems simplistic, but I keep a planner that shows all the hours. Prior to firing, I highlighted the work hours in one color and the “my” hours in another color. Even my 1/2 hour lunch.

                            It really helped me to see how much time I had, and to plan the most in those hours. I had easy years, and some where I really struggled with motivation.

                            Planning my own time really helped me mentally.

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