Cutting up or putting a limit on something we like is neither fun nor easy. At times, although we know that it would make our lives better, we are still pushed away from our goals by our laziness.
That said, there is no harm in trying to “trick” ourselves to renew our habits. For example, the diet program that you did throughout last year to lose weight might not be successful because you often did it drastically and inconsistently. Instead of cutting your dinner – and go to bed feeling hungry – it is better to maintain a healthy lifestyle at all times, by keeping a balanced diet, reducing fatty food intake and exercising for 15 minutes a day.
The same principle is also applied in the case of saving. In order to improve our welfare and achieve our financial goals, we need to maintain a habit of saving regularly – even every day.
Choose 1 Expense Item to Reduce
Last December, we tried to go on a “Saving Challenge” by choosing one tertiary thing which can be cut off, e.g. regular visits to Starbucks, salon, or film theaters.
Each LiveOlive team member knows their own “weaknesses” and make an effort to increase their savings by cutting on spending from those items.
“I really like packaged drinks. I do not care if it is on the street, while I am at the bus station or relaxing at home, I would drink it. I know they contain high preservatives and sugar content, but it is really hard to stop the habit,” says FR who says she could consume between 4 and 6 packaged drinks a day.
Assuming that one packaged drink of “Teh Kotak” (ice tea) is sold at Rp 4,000, she would have spent at least Rp 480,000 a month to keep up with her habit.
Meanwhile, there is also MA who wanted to cut down her snacking habit. With the ever-growing number of mini-markets and convenience stores such as Indomaret, Alfamart, 7-Eleven, she found it too easy to be tempted to stop by every time she leaves for or come home from work, just to buy some snacks – a habit that had contributed to her weight gain.
Thanks to this habit, she had not only failed miserably in maintaining her diet, but also emptied her wallet. With a frequent of visit as much as 3-4 times a week, MA would spend at least Rp 240,000 on this habit.
Know Your Target (Time to fill up the template!)
You only need to fill one column in the template sheet, column E8, which is the amount of money you can set aside right after you receive your salary and distribute the amount for monthly spending, installments and regular savings.
For example, you think that you can set aside Rp 700,000 this week. This amount may seem a lot at the beginning, but it will get smaller within the following weeks.
After you have an amount in E8, you will know the amount of money you need to set aside every day for the next 30 days. Within the next seven days, you will have to save Rp 100,000 a day. Next week, you will have to save Rp 50,000 a day, then Rp 25,000 a day in the third week and Rp 12,500 a day in the last week.
Make sure to set aside a realistic amount of money, so that you will not feel burdened by this activity.
“At first, I was determined not to buy packaged drinks at all and to be able to increase my savings by 10%, but in reality I could only increase it by 7%,” says FR who did not manage to quit her habit at once, but was able to cut down her consumption to only 2 packaged drinks a day.
Reevaluate your target to see if it is realistic, and then repeat this method in the following month. If you did not reach your savings target in December, e.g. because of additional spending during the holidays, try to save up more in other months.