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Do you remember when you were young and given little coin jars to save extra pocket money from school?

 

Most of us learned how to save money from as young as 7 years old, yet as adults many of us struggle to save money — especially when we first begin earning. Whether you’re saving for a fun holiday trip, solo travelling, emergencies, or big-ticket purchases, it’s easy to lose motivation for saving. 

Why do we so often lose our motivation to save? Keep in mind these factors that can deter you from completing your financial goals!

 

  • Impatience
    Most of us have big dreams to retire early and while this is achievable, we often set an unrealistic savings goal to do so. For instance, you earn RM3,000 a month and have a savings goal of RM250,000 within a 10-year period. This means that you need to save slightly over RM2,000 every month — an impractical amount. As time passes, you begin to grow impatient as the amount you set is just too high to achieve and often leaves you not saving anything at all.

  • Present bias
    Believe it or not, emergency savings tend to be at the bottom of the list. In most cases, we tend to save for something that is happening at the moment, rather than the abstract nature of emergency savings because we’re unable to visualise or imagine a situation in which we would rely on those savings. As such, human nature takes over and we believe that we always have “more time” to save for emergencies — causing us to lose motivation entirely.

  • Temptation
    We feel we have earned a treat for ourselves, perhaps a big-ticket item or a luxurious holiday — after all, we’re constantly working ourselves to the bone. While it’s okay to give in to temptation once in a while, overspending at the expense of saving often leaves you falling further behind on achieving your financial goals. 

 

So, how do we stay motivated? Here are some tips: 

Always Remind Yourself Why You’re Saving

 

The biggest mistake you can make is not knowing why you’re saving money in the first place. Keeping track of your financial goals and consistently updating them helps to remind you what you’re saving for and why you’re saving for it.

 

For example, buying a new car is your goal but knowing why you need a new car — to make travel more comfortable for your growing family, or to take weekend road trips to unwind after a busy work week— helps motivate you to be consistent with your savings plan. 

 

Set a Realistic Goal

 

Your savings goal ultimately depends on how much you can afford to put aside every month. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario as different people have different commitments and financial responsibilities.

 

Take, for example, two fresh graduates, Adam and Sean, who each earn RM3,000. Adam lives with his parents, while Sean rents a room in KL. Despite earning the same amount, Adam is able to save RM1,000 a month, while Sean can only afford to set aside RM500. Their different living conditions influence their savings and financial goals. So, always remember to be realistic when budgeting and setting a savings goal. 

Save Often

 

The best way to stay motivated is by saving a certain amount of money every week. The amount you save doesn’t have to be a lot, nor does it have to be the same amount each time — it could be RM50 this week and RM100 next week.

 

However, consistently adding to your savings cultivates the habit of spending responsibly and setting aside money every week in order to reach your financial goals. 

 

Track Your Expenses

 

Gone are the days when you needed to write down every single expense in a 555 notebook if you wanted to track your expenses. Thankfully, we live in the Digital Age where spreadsheets and budgeting apps exist.

 

All you have to do is download Google Sheets or a financial tracking app and input your monthly income, savings goal, and expenses to keep track of your monthly expenditure. Knowing how you spend your money and what you spend it on will help motivate you to grow your savings by reducing expenditure on non-essential items. 

 

Redefine Your Mindset

 

Have you ever heard the saying “you are your own worst enemy”? Constantly telling yourself that you’re a big spender and not a saver can quickly turn into a nasty reality.

 

So, reposition your mindset and change your lifestyle habits to better suit your financial goals. Once you convince yourself that your savings goal is attainable, you’ll be on your way to financial freedom. 

 

 

 

This article is for informational purposes only and CIMB does not make any representation and warranty as to the accuracy, completeness and fairness of any information contained in this article. As this article is general in nature, it is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. You are advised to consult a financial advisor or investment professional before making any decisions based on the information contained in this article. CIMB assumes no liability for any consequences arising from your reliance on the information presented here.