We cannot change the cards we were dealt, but we can certainly increase our chances of success by changing how we play the hand.
Tweaking our outlook can dramatically improve our life. There’s no doubt about it. In fact, there are plenty of tricks we can employ to improve our finances by adjusting how we view the steps needed to achieve financial freedom. These are trying times, and it may not seem that way, but rosy days are ahead. This too shall pass. Here are a few ways to help you do what’s necessary by just changing how you look at each situation.
1. Try to think of the day you can retire with each contribution.
Figure out how much you need to retire and then calculate the day you can do so if you are struggling to see how your seemingly minuscule retirement contributions are making a difference. Obviously, you will need a plan in place to figure the date out first, but whether it’s an hour, a day or a week, being able to see how your retirement date is getting ever closer will help you save more.
2. Look at the exact date when you will become debt free.
Similarly, if you can’t find the urge to put more than the minimum towards your debt, then relentlessly check the date every time you make that extra payment. Just make sure you really celebrate when that day comes, because it’s a major milestone. (Like this tip? Here are 25 more ways to pay down debt.)
3. Setup a intermediate goal for your savings.
Start with short-term goals if you can’t seem to stop buying today because you can’t see the benefits of tomorrow. For example, setup a vacation fund and you will instantly start comparing that $5 coffee expense against delaying your trip. You can also make milestones on your longer term goals. Instead of just aiming to pay everything down to $0, setup goals to celebrate whenever your debt load is 75%, 50%, 25% of the original.
4. Visualize how much you have to work to pay for your purchases.
This works amazingly well for bigger purchases. Let me give you an example. Let’s say you want to buy a car. All you need to do is think of how much longer you’d have to work in order to pay for that vehicle which sits idling most of the time. Buying that Tesla is fun and all, but it could cost your family a couple years of extra employment per purchase. You may still end up buying the car, but you better really love the drive.
5. Find the motivation.
Finding the motivation to look for part time work is tough, because you are often concentrating on the low hourly wages. Think of how much more you can spend on your hobby with the money you make on your part time job, and this will entice you to apply. (When you are ready, here are 15 ways to earn extra money.)
6. Lower your exposure to stocks.
If you can’t seem to save, how about being able to not even look at the stock market because you don’t need the potential returns? I know my life would be simplified (and probably quite a bit more comfortable) if I have so much saved that I can drastically lower my exposure to stocks.
7. Carve out the time like it’s your job.
And if you really can’t find the time to clip coupons, think of whether you have time to deposit the free money if someone just offered the sum to you on the street. You know you have the time, and money is money whichever way you can get them.
Sometimes, adjusting our view is all it takes to turn failure into success. Try it. The tactics work with money, and everything else too.
Editor’s Note: I’ve begun tracking my assets through Personal Capital. I’m only using the free service so far and I no longer have to log into all the different accounts just to pull the numbers. And with a single screen showing all my assets, it’s much easier to figure out when I need to rebalance or where I stand on the path to financial independence.
They developed this pretty nifty 401K Fee Analyzer that will show you whether you are paying too much in fees, as well as an Investment Checkup tool to help determine whether your asset allocation fits your risk profile. The platform literally takes a few minutes to sign up and it’s free to use by following this link here. For those trying to build wealth, Personal Capital is worth a look.
Originally posted at https://moneyning.com/better-yourself/7-simple-adjustments-to-make-to-save-more-and-retire-early/