Admiring instead of owning. Somewhere in the journey, I realized that admiring something did not mean I needed to own it. An analogous situation is artwork in a museum. I very much enjoy seeing paintings by the masters, but I wouldn't want to own those paintings, even if I could afford it. Similarly, I admire home theaters, luxury automobiles, iPhones, and other wonderful things that my colleagues, neighbors and friends own. I am happy that they enjoy the items, am genuinely interested in the items, and am complementary about the items. However, in most cases, I don't translate admiration into a need to own it.
Making it a habit or automatic. Early in my career, I would target to have a small amount remaining each month in my checking account, which would be transferred to savings. In my mind, I wanted to have $10, $20, or more leftover each month. At first it was tough, but I soon reached having over $100 remaining each month. Once it became a habit, it was almost automatic.
Later, I did make it automatic. I started paying myself first, by transferring money into my savings at the beginning instead of the end of the month. By putting away part of every raise, I eventually achieved saving 20% of my monthly salary BEFORE paying any bills.
Association with an undesirable situation. I avoid using debt by convincing myself that it is the equivalent to paying more than sticker price for an item. Being a price negotiator, the thought of paying more than sticker makes me cringe, to the point that I don't think I would ever do it. With this association in mind, I easily keep myself from using debt.
While these "mind tricks" are not infallible, they work most of the time for me because they cause me to feel good for making a good personal finance decision for our future. And when I feel good, I usually am very motivated:-)
Here's the series:
- Our Childhood Preparation
- The Value Of Higher Education
- Making The Most Of My Job
- Lifestyle and Spending Choices
- Setting Goals, Developing Plans and Tracking Process
- Staying The Course
- How Luck Played A Role
- My Personal Finance Mind Tricks
- The Professionals We Used
- When Preparation Met Opportunity
Photo Credit: morgueFile.com, Dawn M. Turner
Copyright © 2007 Achievement Catalyst, LLC