It has been busy at work this week, and I have to admit that by Thursday night I was thinking, “I can’t believe I have to make dinner again tomorrow night!” While we could have gone out to eat, I already had all the groceries for dinner. I thought about how great our budget was looking this week and how nice it would be to deposit some of that money back into our savings, and I sucked it up and made dinner!
I read a study today on NBC news that a key to success in saving money is, in fact, the ability to imagine the future effects of your actions. The study showed that the more people could imagine themselves in the future, they better they were at delaying immediate gratification. This might look like: “Boy, I’d really like to just forget about looking through the grocery ads and dealing with sales and coupons….but it will be so great when we can save up enough cash to travel to Europe as a family. . . . ” The article even mentioned writing a letter to your future self, which is exactly what my friend over at ‘The Debt Break-Up’ did in this blog post.
So, with a vision of an early retirement and enough money to travel we:
- Made dinner at home
- Had a no-drive day for me and no spend day for both of us
- Thinned the bok choy and arugula in the garden and enjoyed the baby leaves in our salad – micro greens!
- Planned how we would utilize our smartphones on an upcoming trip to avoid being hit with data overage charges
- Waited until our time-of-use electricity rate kicked in to run the dehumidifier in the basement and wash/dry clothes
- Renewed a due library book online so I could wait to return the book tomorrow when I will be driving that way anyway. No fine, and saves on the gas for the car.
I recommend reading the full article on nbcnews.com which is linked above. When you are trying to achieve a financial goal, do you draw strength from the vision you have for the future? I’d love to hear your thoughts!