These seven unusual ways to save money are easy and effective because they’re rooted in psychology. That is, these tips for spending less cash involve increasing your motivation to save money and decreasing your reasons for spending money — which can help you achieve your financial goals!
Research shows that people spend money because they feel powerless. If you’re struggling with credit card debt and spending too much money, you may be able to save money by changing how you think about money and power in your life…
“Consider two individuals, one a successful millionaire and the other a recently demoted banker,” say researchers Derek D. Rucker and Adam D. Galinsky of Northwestern University. “Both might view a Rolex watch as a clear status symbol. However, for the millionaire, wearing the watch might not make him/her feel any more powerful than he/she normally feels. In contrast, for our demoted banker, wearing the same watch might make the banker feel significantlgy more powerful.”
The following “money psychology tips” will help you feel more powerful in your life, which will help you stick to your budget. For more practical tips on saving more and spending less money, click The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness.
7 Unusual Ways to Save Money – Tips for Spending Less Cash
1. Acknowledge different types of power in your life. You can feel physically powerful, spiritually powerful, intellectually powerful, professionally powerful, economically powerful, and on it goes. You’ll probably feel different types of power in different parts of your life – and at different times of your life. Knowing when you feel powerful and when you feel weak can help you handle your finances more effectively.
2. Recognize unhealthy versus healthy power. Being manipulative, deceitful, vengeful, or passive-aggressive are unhealthy ways of expressing power. To feel more powerful in your life, ask yourself if you’re using your power for good or if you’re trying to control others. Becoming more psychologically healthy affects your spending habits — because it’s a contradiction to be emotionally healthy and still spend every penny you have! A tip for spending less cash is to get as healthy as possible.
3. Rise to a work challenge. It doesn’t matter if you’re a store clerk, department head, or secretary of state – rising to a professional challenge increases your feelings of power. Pennsylvania-based freelance writer Lori Baer, says “Conquering a freelancing task I was nervous about fosters empowerment and greater confidence for next big thing.” Look at work challenges as ways to increase your personal sense of power…and let those confident feelings help you spend less and save more money.
4. Just say no – especially when you can’t afford to spend the cash. Some people – not just “people pleasers” – feel powerless to say no, for various reasons. Their personality affects their saving and spending habits. Here’s how one writer views it: “Saying, ‘No, I don’t want to,’ makes me feel powerful,” says Kathy Pfeiffer of Batavia, Ohio. “I often forget I have that choice – and sometimes it’s scary to say ‘no.'” To feel more powerful in life, give yourself permission to say no without feeling guilty, bad, or ashamed. This includes saying no to lunches or dinners you can’t afford, toys or luxuries that aren’t in the budget, and activities that are too expensive. Saying no is a great way to spend less money!
5. Play your favorite sport to feel more powerful. “Hitting a golf ball a long, long way makes me feel powerful,” says Massachusetts-based senior public relations manager Jason Keith. I don’t know if golf games are effective ways to spend less money, but it’s a fact that playing sports you enjoy at will increase your feelings of power. You don’t even have to be good at golf to enjoy it! (This isn’t an ususual way to save money on golf, but you could consider playing at a driving range or public park).
6. Exercise to save money? Similarly, exercising can increase your feeling of power (for me, it’s Pilates!). “Doing weights at the gym makes me feel powerful,” says Céline Graciet, a translator in Leeds, UK. “Strange, I know, as I’m still not very strong, but it gives me a confidence boost for some reason.” Taking self-defense or karate classes are also effective ways to increase your sense of physical and mental power. The more you exercise your body, the better you’ll feel…and the less need you’ll have to spend cash on things you don’t need.
7. Create positive changes that help you achieve your financial goals. “The certainty that what I am doing creates positive change makes me feel powerful,” says Toronto-based writer, musician, and actor Desirée Ossandon, who is working with Canada Arts Connect. A fantastic way to feel more powerful in your life is to do something positive that improves other people’s lives. It doesn’t have to be a job; it can be a blog, volunteer work, helping a neighbor, or donating to a charity. The more involved you get in life, and other people’s lives, the more powerful you’ll feel…and the less money you’ll spend.
If you have any tips or questions about these or other unusual ways to spend less cash, please comment below…