One of the biggest challenges when it comes to achieving major savings goals is maintaining your focus. The bigger the goal, the longer it typically takes to achieve it, and the easier it is to take your eye of the ball. One particularly effective trick for combating this possibility is to create a visual reminder of your savings goal.
Lessons from an eleven year old
I was recently reminded of how well this approach works when I discovered that our eleven year old was carrying around a tattered picture of an ASUS Eee PC netbook. Yep, that’s it (alongside his wallet) in the photo above. He’s been saving up for his own computer for quite awhile now, and he was concerned about blowing his hard-earned money on a less worthy item during a moment of weakness.
We’ve actually talked quite a bit with the kids about impulse purchases and how much they can set you back when you’re saving up for something big. In an attempt to avoid these sorts of problems, he decided to print out a picture of a computer like the one he wanted to buy and slip it into his wallet, thereby ensuring that he’d see it every time he was tempted to spend money.
And guess what? It worked. He saved like a madman with nary a setback and, as of last week, he’s the proud new owner of his very own netbook. So take it from an eleven year old… If you’re having trouble meeting your savings goals, create a visual reminder of whatever it is that you’re saving for and slip it into your wallet or purse.