So if you’re like many Americans who are vowing to save more and spend less in the new year, you can reach your goal with savings strategies that don’t involve cutting out everything you love.
You’ve likely heard countless times that you need to stop throwing away money on things like a daily latte. In fact, best-selling personal finance author David Bach popularized the concept “The Latte Factor” and created a calculator to help people see how much little expenses add up and how that money could be saved.
But that doesn’t mean you have to give up all of life’s little luxuries if you want to get ahead financially. Actually, trying to eliminate all of the small things you enjoy might do more harm than good to your finances.
“If your goal is to deprive yourself of any pleasure, it’s going to backfire,” said Dr. Brad Klontz, a financial psychologist and associate professor at Creighton University.
So if you’re like many Americans who are vowing to save more and spend less in the new year, you can reach your goal with savings strategies that don’t involve cutting out everything you love. Here’s why you shouldn’t give up little luxuries — and what you should do instead.
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• You’ll think you’re on a diet:Research has shown that dieting fails to help people keep weight off over the long run. You justify your spending by saying that you deserve to treat yourself because you’ve been depriving yourself. This is why cutting out everything you enjoy as a savings strategy can backfire.
• Focusing on big wins is more important:You can boost savings more — and avoid feeling like you have to give up everything you love — if you focus on slashing major costs.
• It’s equally important to live for today:Your savings strategies shouldn’t involve giving up all enjoyment today to live comfortably in the future.
“It’s important to do both,” said Klontz. “Save for the future, and live for today.”
• Automating savings is less painful:To make sure you actually spend money on what you value, you need structure. The best way to do this is through automation, Klontz said.
Set up a savings account for each of your goals and name the accounts.
Next, set up automatic monthly transfers from your checking account to each savings-goal account.