I was talking to a friend during Moms’ Night Out about how our daughters immediately buy something with their allowance or earned money (it’s so infuriating when they insist on buying candy and plastic crap). The only time either one of them have been able to save their money is when they were saving FOR something: something specific, with a specific price, and of course, something to obtain as soon as possible. Boy did my daughter do chores then!
Our family has taken the advice of Cathi Brese Doebler (author of “Ditch the Joneses, Discover Your Family”) and others about setting up different “cups” or “envelopes” to divide earnings ( a rudimentary “envelope” system). We’ve decided to let our daughter spend 80% of what she earns, 10% goes to a charity of her choosing and 10% is to be saved. That 80% is spent almost immediately, but that’s part of the lesson, I suppose. If she wants something later on and doesn’t have the money I will not give it to her. I’m hoping this will teach her how to budget and save. But frankly, we all need motivation (and reward) to do what’s best for us, don’t we?
I’ve said many times that in order to hit your target you need to have one at which to aim. That’s why the majority of my clients come to me: they need help designing their target and then need me to coach them as to how to best hit it.
So what are your goals?
If you are married, do you and your spouse/significant other share at least some of the same goals?
Do you have some that are short-term (like a vacation), as well as long-term (like retirement)?
Do some of your goals NOT involve money?
Are you likely to beat yourself up if you don’t achieve your goals?
How do you feel when you DO achieve a goal? Here’s the key: Can you recall that feeling at will to keep you on track during those tempting times when your favorite store is having a sale on things you truly do not need?
Design your target, then aim at it.