21
November / 2019
Finance
How do I save more money?

Answer: “Save more money!”

We are inundated with “Ten Simple Hacks to Hack Your Unhackable Hack.” How many of us have clicked this fatal link only to find we knew these things all along? We vow never to click another of these intellectually lazy, clickbait things again…until we do…because we feel stuck sometimes and there must be an easier way.

I am a Financial Advisor and have been working mostly with individuals seeking the professional council of someone they can trust and rely on to bring them informed options when faced with decisions regarding sums of money, large and small. What I do as a profession is very much an exercise in human behavior than a picking the investment that performs the best in given calendar year. The size of the decision is not always determined by the value of the dollars in question. I know financial professionals that put “minimum account sizes” into their marketing verbiage, leading me & potential clients to infer that one is only valued by the size of one’s account. My guiding principles are more centered on how to help the most people that I can, regardless of the particular account size or business revenue it may generate. Potentially the best part of my profession is being able to make a positive impact on someone’s views about money. Here is one such example:

Recently I was shopping in a clothing store and struck up a conversation with the associate. Through the conversation, I told him I was a financial advisor along with where I was from and what brought be into the city. The associate asked the honest question “how do i save more money?” I gave the most honest genuine answer i could, as the asker was most genuine in their asking. I elaborated: “you know what to do already but as you know, simply “knowing” is not the hard part, is it?”

“No, it isn’t,” he answered.

Answer #1: In order to “save more money” i suppose, you could “spend less” but these two are not tied together necessarily & the heart of this answer is much more nuanced. To “save more” you must first determine where the goal “saving more” ranks in term of your priorities.

Once something becomes a top priority, it must also remain a priority for a period of time where the action can gain enough momentum and become habit. Have you ever decided something was a priority only to look up following a busy week and notice you haven’t made time for that thing you said was a priority? I certainly have. I have done it with my fitness, learning to play the guitar, even writing. Assuming you get past the first hurdle (now the hard part!): Execution!

How will you save more? Will you simply “spend less?” What will you spend less on? What will you cut out? When will you cut it out? Will the money you did-not-spend simply accumulate in your checking account? Will you set up a systematic savings mechanism to move money from say checking to savings? If so, how often will this automatic transfer to saving occur? When you get a bonus? Once per month? Or a smaller amount per week?

All of these can be good options but some may work better than others; this is a human behavior issue much more than an intellectual issue: Know Yourself. Know your strengths, as well as your susceptibilities, then plan for them. Attack them. Conquer them.

Answer #2: “Why?”

“How do I save more money” is the question. However, in my experience, the better question is: “Why?”

Why do you feel it is important to save more money?

As discussed in Answer #1, the how, you already know but the “why” is just as important & will keep your plan from regressing at the first opportunity with which you are faced. Write it down. See it every day. Seeing your “why” will remind you when you are close to going off the path you have laid out for yourself. Armed with your “why,” and a plan that works for who you are as a saver, you can be better prepared in working towards accomplishing your goal.

*The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.