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The Absolute Best Way to Motivate Yourself to Save Money

It’s so easy, I can’t believe I didn’t know about it sooner. Scratch that, I have read it a million times. I can’t believe that I didn’t do it sooner! Because this motivational technique really works. Whether you are trying to save money, pay down debt, or even lose weight, stick to this one tip, and I think you’ll be amazed at the results. So, what the heck is it?

Place an image of your goal(s) somewhere you can see it all day, everyday.

It’s all about visualization, Baby!

I’m not on some pseudoscience bandwagon. Undoubtedly, motivational methods work in mysterious ways, and they work differently for every individual. But I do know that about three months ago, I started setting my computer wallpaper—both at work and at home—to images of really nice cars that I someday want to own. Lo and behold, I am earning more and paying down more debt than ever.

Now, I’m not saying that putting up some silly picture caused me to earn and save more money, but I can say this: Every time I look at those images, I am reminded of where I want to go in life. I am also reminded that I have been earning and saving more money recently, and that my goals may be closer than I once thought. That, of course, motivates me to work harder and, well, you get the idea.

I have a friend who keeps an entire folder of imagery that he feels portrays his ideal life. Some of my other friends call him crazy. Is he? Time will tell.

Published or updated on September 18, 2008

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About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.


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  1. Great idea. Here’s another: Company IS departments often require staff to change their passwords frequently. It can be hard to come up with something new every couple of months. I like to use my goal as my password that way every time I type it in I’m reminded of that goal. If I have the same goal for a long period I might change up the way it’s typed in.

  2. Meg says:

    Similarly, I keep a color-coded excel file of my goals which are broken down into categories like “travel,” relationships,” “career” and “education” It’s a second tab in my spreadsheet of net worth and savings projections/goals.

    I physically check off things that I have bought or done, in addition to milestones I’ve reached like earning a certain amount of income or reaching a certain net worth. It really motivates me to continue to reach those financial milestones because I remember why I am shooting for them whenever I update my budget or savings balance.

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