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15 Brain and Mind Tricks to Save A Ton of Money - If I asked you what saving money entails? Your mind will automatically think about the sacrifice and discipline it takes to become a good saver. Even though these are some excellent characteristics you need to instil in yourself, there's something even more fascinating you didn't think could influence your savings habits: your mind.

It has the capability of making you view saving as a sport or as a punishment. Luckily with the human mind, nothing is set in stone, so we can easily change how we see and feel about things like savings.

Source: by Chiara Daneluzzi

In today's post, we will show you some brain and mind tricks to save you a ton of money.

15. Pay with cash instead of a card

There's something so utterly painful about  watching a wad of cash slowly but surely slim in size, purchase by purchase. It makes me wince each time.

But that's the beauty of purchasing with cash instead of a card. You can actually SEE the money leave your pocket and it makes  you thoroughly rethink each purchase.

The tangibility of the money and the exchange  of it for things makes you think twice about the actual value of what it is you're buying, unlike when you go out and spend on credit. With a card, you kind of have this fantasy that it's a never-ending honey pot.

So you keep dipping and dipping until one day, you realize that you have such a huge amount to pay back because of all those things you bought that one time.

This leads you to spend all your money, all the while racking up those debts instead of saving. Spending the rest of your life fighting off debts and interests isn't really the best game plan now, is it?

14. Picture yourself richer

The next best thing to help save you a ton of money is to picture yourself wealthier than you are today. A bigger house, a faster car, flashier clothes.

Envision yourself with all these things on top of having the luxury of paying off bills each month without having to live paycheck to paycheck. Having this picture in mind will keep you mindful about how much you spend each day. 

With each unnecessary expense, you'll remind yourself of how much you're talking away from that rich version of yourself.

13. Convert prices into hours

Would you rather be given a large sum of $1  million all at once today in cash, or $300,000 in monthly instalments? Most people would choose the first option.

Even though with the second option, one could make triple the amount, most would still ask for the instant million. Why? Because, as humans, we always pick the instant  gratification option.

This is why you need to trick your mind into not spending money mindlessly without thinking about how many hours of work would be required to make the same amount again.

I bet you wouldn't buy that 10,000-dollar car after you realize it will cost you 12,000 hours of sweat and tears to comfortably afford it.

12. Put it in writing

How many times have you forgotten to pick up something from the grocery store? Even though you reminded yourself over ten times? 

There's a reason why so many use grocery lists. It may feel cheesy, cliché and maybe even tedious to write out lists, but it's always worth it.

Your  head can only store so much. Grocery lists, to-do lists, financial goals. Write them all down. These lists and plans can help you become more conscious about your goals.  

It's more so about having a plan of action – if you have your financial goals written down, for example, you'll know exactly what steps you need to take to accomplish the list. Better yet, it might motivate you to write down an entire plan.

11. Plan money dates

Just like engaging in book club activities keeps you ahead of your reading game, engaging in similar groups for your financial prosperity will help you stay on track always.  

Because the thought of being the only one who failed in the group to achieve their savings limit is embarrassing.

Since no one wants to experience such kind of embarrassment, you'll be keen to ensure you're on target when it comes to your spending and savings. It's a pretty sociable way to save money, isn't, it?

10. Start small

Everyone you see today with a big bank balance and a huge savings account didn't just show up on Earth that way. Instead, they worked towards it over time. 

We all start somewhere, and the starting point  is ordinarily small. Saving isn't a joke, especially on a tight budget, and you'll need a lot of discipline to reserve something small for your savings account.

Don't worry about how small your account is right now, within the next decade, the amount  will have multiplied considerably.

9. Use the stranger test

The stranger test is a good mind hack to challenge yourself to increase your savings. Saving requires a lot of discipline but using this technique throws in some more motivation to keep up the spirit.

Imagine a total stranger offering to give you that outfit you've been longing for and cash valued the same as the clad, what will you pick? 

If your priorities are right, you'll go for the cash, which is more appealing than the outfit. Try this out every other time you want to make a purchase and before transacting, ask yourself whether you are channelling your funds to a need or a want.

After you give yourself an honest answer, use the stranger test, and you won't regret the decision. After a couple of years, you will realize that your savings is steadily growing, and before you know it, you will have enough to last you for a year or two.

8. Visualize your goal

The next step after creating a goal is the  implementation of the strategy. Not everyone gets to this step because we tend to forget the most important aspect that will challenge the mind to put in the work.

Imagination is good  for the mind, and visualizing your goals is an ideal way to get your mind on the trajectory it needs and challenges you to put your best foot forward. 

By simply visualizing the end results of the goal, you'll find out that you become more resilient and disciplined because the image at the back of your mind keeps you pushing forward towards achieving the intended goal.  

You might experience challenges along the way, but trust me, you'll not have any second thoughts because you have already trained the mind. Would you want anything less after testing the life of the royalties?

The same applies when setting goals. Try this trick once you've set a savings goal and patiently wait to enjoy the results.

7. Harness the power of pre-commitment

Make a pre-commitment to something and ensure that you complete whatever it is. A perfect example is a savings obligation which many do at the moment when they are hyped up about savings, but once they've lost morale, they stop.

Preempt yourself and outperform your savings goals so you will be aware of why you aren't saving. Once you commit to something, you are bound by it, and there is no way you can escape it.

That's why I consider debt and commitments  as close cousins because in both situations, whether you like it or not, you have to fulfil whatever debt or commitment you have.

6. Use transition moments to your advantage

In life, the transition from one point to another is necessary. Embrace every stage of your life and the small milestones that come with it.  

Use the moments to your advantage and make the best out of them by learning something new. When you achieve a milestone in your savings, use it as. Challenge to scale up to the next level.

5. Manage small frequent purchases

Another underutilized mind trick is the awareness and management of small frequent purchases. Recurrent and small purchases seem minor, but if you do some accounting at how much you spend in a day, you'll be surprised at how much cash you actually waste daily.

Managing funds ultimately helps improve overall saving capabilities. Small purchases like groceries and takeouts are one of the biggest culprits that contribute to impulse  spending.

Build management habits by tracking your purchases, and you're good to go. Such habits will also help grow your savings margin.

4. Focus more on making money than saving money

Sometimes the pain of setting aside a certain  amount of your income to go into an account where it just sits around and does nothing is greater than the reward of it.

One good way you can get around this negative feeling when saving money is by focusing more on making money rather than saving money.

This is because the more money you have, the easier you'll find it to save, as you won't be forced to sacrifice a lot of the things you enjoy doing.

Even though it's still financially smart to be frugal with your spending so that one day you can be as wealthy as you'd like to be.

3. Keep a change jar

When you were younger, it was wholesome to  fit a coin into your piggy bank and discover that it's already full. However, as soon as we grew older, the piggy bank saving habit ended.

In the spirit of keeping our inner child alive and well, it is time to start keeping a change jar around your house.

The feeling you'll get when you can no longer fit any change in will spark some feel-good hormones and give you a scene of achievement, which is the type of motivation we all need to keep saving.

2. Ask yourself what truly matters

As a collective, we are now more focused on buying into trends than anything else. The issue with this is that trends come and go.  

Once we've quickly become accustomed to the item, and it's no longer 'in' we don't see the point in using it anymore. This is a waste of money.  

The best way to overcome this is to ask yourself about the true worth of whatever it is you wish to buy. If your need to purchase the item comes from a need to fit in with a particular crowd, then it's a wise idea not to buy it at all.

If it's something essential you're looking at, such as a car, pick something pocket friendly and practical.

1. Round up savings

As always, we saved the best for last. The best thing you can introduce to your savings plan is rounding up your savings. This method works by rounding off the amount you spend on an item to the nearest dollar.

Then the difference is automatically saved into a different account. For example, a pair of earnings costs you 1.50 dollars when rounded off to the nearest dollar, that should be 2 dollars. So automatically, 0.50 dollars is saved into a different savings account than your spending account. 

This is a simple way to trick your mind into saving without feeling the pinch that comes with saving a ton of money.

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