Let me guess. You’re over this new age stuff about mantras and chanting and being the change you want to see in the world. You don’t want to find self-fulfillment at the bottom of another wheatgrass shot, or wedged between the tofu fritters on your plate.
But you do want to start saving money and stop living from pay to pay, and as much as you sneer at the thought, a few mantras and some thinking through your actions can get you well on your way. Here are a couple of things that are running through my head currently.
Do I need this?
If you’ve watched Confessions of a Shopaholic, you’ll recognise this one (and realise that yours truly has no qualms about lifting a couple of home truths from romantic comedies). But it’s worth repeating. The simple act of pausing before you hand over your well-earned money and asking yourself whether you really need this should help you to walk away. Even if it is a super deluxe mighty fine-looking King of Cappuccino Machine, complete with coffee grinder and in-built chocolate shaker. Walk away, and tell yourself if you really want it, you’ll go back. Do you need it? Just get it out of your sight for a couple of seconds so you can think about it with relative calm.
I can’t have this if I want to buy the [insert here much desired item] one day
Goals are important. We all have them, and we all spend a lot of our time working towards them. The difference is that some people work towards them, save for them and eventually achieve them and the rest of us poor sods spend our days working and not getting any closer. The trick is to have a goal firmly in mind, written on your fridge and bathroom mirror, and stenciled onto your wallet. When paused outside the 7/11, wondering what chocolate bar I could buy today, I conjure up a plane ticket to Greece and, for someone who has zero self-discipline, it’s remarkable how resolutely I keep on walking.
Every little bit counts
Piggy banks and money jars are making a comeback! If you can manage to put a few dollars aside every day, it can make all the difference. After all, it’s a couple of hundred dollars a year you wouldn’t have otherwise. Telling yourself its only worth saving if it’s a triple digit number is a surefire way to not save at all.
The Daily Affirmation
And now, for the bit you’d all rather avoid. Write down a sentence, keep it short, make it meaningful. I will save $1000 for a new computer. I will clear my credit card at the end of every month. McDonalds is not the answer. Whatever works. Then say it to yourself when you wake up, before you go to sleep, and other set times during the day. Before long you’ll be practicing the tree yoga pose and brewing your own chai. Only kidding. I doubt any mantra chanting will lead to sudden adherence to astrological beliefs or tarot cards addiction, but you might find it makes it easier to stay motivated and save money.
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.
What goes through your head as you walk away from the ultimate Led Zeppelin DVD? What can you say to yourself to get the strength to say no and keep walking?