Saving money is not instinctual and does not come naturally to most. It is a process that needs to be learned. And it needs to be practised constantly to the point where it becomes a habit. Human beings are naturally inclined to all good things and spend money to get them. Money-saving habits don’t come naturally to them and it’s an effort to acquire them.
Saving money is not just limited to coupon codes and availing of different kinds of discounts. It’s much more than that and there are a number of sneaky psychological tips and tricks that can help you make money-saving a habit. Following are the psychological tricks to help you sneak into saving money.
1. Seasonal Decorations Are Tempting
The decorations in the stores around the holidays tempt you to spend money. This is some research-backed claim that these bright-coloured decorations are energizing and stimulating. Research says that waitresses who wear red receive more tips on average than waitresses wearing other colours. Green is also said to be an optimistic colour associated with luck, wealth and prosperity. Red and green are the most commonly used colours for Christmas or other holiday decorations.
The great big decorative displays also have the priciest items front and centre where people are likely to look and touch the stuff. Research also says that there is more of a chance for you to buy something that you have touched. Stores also use calming and energizing scents and fragrances in order to tempt people to shop longer and spend more money.
2. Wear High Heels
It’s a strange notion but research says that when people wear high-heeled shoes to shopping, they are likely to buy mid-range products instead of more costly ones or low-quality ones. It seems that when their minds are more focused on staying balanced, they look for balance in spending money as well. Interestingly, shopping after a yoga class and climbing an escalator also have this same effect.
3. Keep New Bills
People generally prefer newer, crispier bills to the old, worn-out ones. A study has shown that people are more likely to get rid of old, worn-out bills and are hesitant to part with newer, crispier bills. This means that people are willing to spend more money when they have old bills as compared to when they possess new, crisp bills.
4. Practise The Mindful Pause
Sometimes when things have discount codes, you can be tempted to buy even if you don’t need the item. In such a case, the “mindful pause” can really help you out. A mindful pause entails that you hand the item back to the salesperson, step away from the item, sit somewhere quiet and think about it. You will need to ask yourself a few particular questions. “Do I really need it?” “Can I afford it?” “How will I be paying for it?” And then buy the item only when you have determined that you actually need it and can afford it.
5. Visit Fewer Stores
If you visit more shops and stores, you will spend more. You might think that you are visiting more shops to compare prices and characteristics. But the more effort you put into going from one store to another, the more you will want to reward yourself with shopping more.
6. Don’t Make Friends With Store Staff
Try to limit your interaction with the sales people and staff at the store. If you converse and interact with them for a significant amount of time, it is more likely that you will buy something from them. Part of the reason why is that you feel like you will be letting them down if you don’t buy something and you don’t want to do that with someone who has helped you.
7. Walk Away From It
The very act of shopping triggers dopamine in your brain. The flow of dopamine gets you high and you may lose control and focus, going on a shopping spree. Research suggests that you should force yourself to walk out from the item in question. You should then come back the next day and assess yourself whether you still want it or not. This will aid you in making a more clear-headed decision.
8. Don’t Bring Your Credit Cards
People unconsciously spend more through their credit cards than they realize. You have more of a feeling of spending money when you are paying with actual cash which is not there when you are using a credit card. That is why most people get carried away and lose track when spending with a credit card. Hence, you should carry cash and leave your credit cards behind when going for shopping.
9. Set Up Automatic Transfer
Set up an automatic transfer from your regular account to your savings account when your paycheck hits your regular checking account. Have a specified amount of money aside that goes directly to your savings account. Almost all banks offer automatic transfers between accounts. You are less likely to miss the money if you have never seen it after it automatically transfers to your savings account.
10. Don’t Use Too Many Coupons
This sounds counter-effective but using too many discounts and coupon codes can backfire. When you buy things at discounted prices, you feel good and think you’ve saved a substantial amount of money. That can tempt you to treat yourself and spend that money elsewhere. All in all, you might end up expending more money than you saved. That is why you need to be careful when using coupons, discounts and vouchers etc.
Bonus: Carry a Picture of Future Goal
You should carry a picture of your future financial goal that you are saving for. It can either be an
interior designing of the house, a car or a vacation to a dream destination. Carry a picture of it in your
wallet or have it set as your phone’s background. Looking at it often will keep you motivated to keep
saving in order to achieve that goal of yours.