Society is getting a bad rap for insatiable instant gratification, spending conglomerates of time on social media, filtering photos of food for their instagram as they restaurant hop and latching on to the gamut of holistic lifestyle concepts including spending money on organic groceries and investing themselves in spiritual and physical wellness ideas and classes--all while simultaneously plunging themselves into financial debt.
Rather than berate society (ahem, my generation included), let's leverage what we're good at.
1. Leverage instant gratification.
I want something and if I order in the next 3 hours I can have it by 5pm today. "Now" feels so good. We can talk about evading instant gratification another day. Today, it's about tapping in to it. Reimagine: you are a fast-firing, micro-goal achiever. Make a list of 10 fast-firing things you can do and then pick 1 or 2 of them that are most doable and seem most exciting to you. Here are some right-now ideas to put some swing in your financial efforts:
- Open a savings account and call it "I saved that." Every time you choose NOT to spend money, transfer it over to that savings account. Watch it grow! (Alternatively, write yourself a check if transfers between accounts are limited with your bank)
- Use cash. Using cash for things like groceries, date night and social events puts you on an automatic budget.
- Keep the change...and then pizza. If you use cash, set aside anything smaller than a $1 into a jar for take-out night. Then, don't order take-out until you have enough in the jar.
- Look at all subscriptions. Are there any subscriptions you could live without? Turn it off and see if the world comes to an end. If it does, turn it back on.
- Round up with an app. Use an app like QAPITAL or ACORNS which rounds your spending to the nearest dollar and then moves it to savings or an investment portfolio.
2. Leverage holistic living.
So you like avocados and yoga. Think about what those things do for you. You feel better, cleaner, lighter and more refreshed. Take the same approach to your finances. Just like switching to a 100% organic pantry, it doesn't happen overnight. Take baby steps to bringing zen to your finances. Find small ways that can impact your spending (Grocery bill, see if there is wiggle room to reduce it a little; Any subscriptions you can cancel?). Then, when you can, make bigger efforts in other areas.
3. Leverage social media.
If you are a social media addict, use it. What's your thing? Pinterest? Create a board oriented around your financial goals (be specific...like, "Ways to spend less") Twitter? Instagram? Follow some trusted sources that have motivational photos or articles linked to the pics (hint: Retirement Insider is a pretty good follow).
Now go on with your bad self and let's get your finances in shape.