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How to Combat the Mental Struggle of Saving Money

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The slow process of saving money for a major purchase is excruciating.

When we want something, we want it now.

And gradually saving up for something can feel like an impossible and never ending task.

But unless we have a money tree, a stockpile of cash, are willing to steal from another savings goal, or to take on debt, we have to somehow overcome this struggle. 

And this is no easy task. 

Or at least it isn’t for me. And I don’t think I’m alone in this battle. 

In this day and age, we are so used to getting what we want when we want it. 

Wait 5 days for a package to arrive? That’s preposterous!

It’s this “got to have it now” culture that makes slowly saving up for something we want such an overwhelming task.

Deep down we know that buying impulsively can wreak havoc on our finances. It can get us into debt and make paying for day-to-day living expenses a struggle. Therefore, we try to be responsible and save up the money instead. 

But it’s mentally exhausting to constantly tell ourselves that we have to wait. To constantly remind ourselves to tame the beast that wants everything now. 

So how do we make it easier on ourselves to save up for the things we desire in order to protect our financial security?

It’s something I’ve been struggling with myself lately. And if I’m struggling with it, I’m sure there are others struggling as well. 

My Own mental Struggle with saving up money

I’ve recently been on a savings struggle bus that feels like it’s going nowhere.  

Right now saving for all of my short-term and long-term goals feels like an impossible task. 

I don’t have a money tree or a stockpile of cash. Therefore, my only choice to fund my savings goals like home improvements, car purchases, lifestyle upgrades, and vacations is to save up slowly or take on debt.

And after paying off my last car and student loan, I vowed to not willingly take on any more debt. The only debt I was willing to carry was my mortgage. 

For me, taking on debt is a risk. I can’t predict the future, and committing future Mel to loan payments is a risk I am no longer willing to take. 

With that new money mindset established, the only option for my savings goals is to save gradually for the things I want. Easy peasy, right? 

It Started as SavingS Bliss

I began by creating a bunch of sinking funds. And each month I added money into those sinking funds for my future wants and needs.

I was feeling good about my saving process. 

Slowly but surely I was saving up for my future desires. 

But many of these savings goals were for things I would need in the distant future, not anytime soon. This meant that I wasn’t feeling frustrated or impatient with the rate I was able to save at. 

The Wrench in My Savings Utopia

This was all fine and dandy until Mr. Taco and I spent a week renting a campervan in the Canadian Rockies. 

We loved it so much that we decided to explore purchasing one for ourselves. 

And guess what? Campervans aren’t cheap. 

This is where my mental struggle with slowly saving for my wants began. 

I don’t want to wait five years to buy a campervan. I want it now!

Trying to save up enough money to purchase a campervan without taking on debt felt (and still does feel) like an impossible task. And I’m grappling with that “got to have it now” mindset. 

In the past, I likely would have figured out how I could afford the monthly payments and then taken out a new car loan. 

But my debt mindset has changed since then. Now there are other things, like my overall financial security, that play a role in these purchase decisions. 

So I’m stuck trying to figure out how to be ok with the slow process of saving for something I want.

The Answer is Patience

It turns out there is no magic wand to wave to make saving for large purchases faster and easier. 

We simply have to manifest a little patience as we travel along our savings journey. 

And patience is tough.

That “got to have it now” mindset is strong within us. 

So it’s going to take a few tricks to tame the beast. 

How To Be Patient On Your Savings Journey

Now you have committed to saving up for a major purchase instead of taking on debt or stealing from other important priorities.

But how do you actually find the resolve, the patience, to carry out your plan? 

Here are some tactics to help manifest the patience needed to stick to your savings journey. 

Related Post: Two Secret Ingredients for Creating a Habit That Sticks

Remember Why You Want to Save Versus BuyING Now

Remember your inspiration. 

Why do you want to save up for a purchase instead of buying it right then and there?

Do you want to avoid debt, reduce impulse spending, or avoid stealing from your other savings goals? 

There is a reason you chose this path. Remind yourself of that reason frequently in order to continue to fuel your commitment to your goal. 

Celebrate Savings Milestones

Along the way, take the time to fuel your motivation by celebrating the small milestones.

Saved $1000 towards your goal? Acknowledge it and pat yourself on the back. 

Saving is hard work, so don’t forget to acknowledge and appreciate the journey.

Practice gratitude

Remembering all of the things you are grateful for as you trudge through your savings journey will help lift your spirits. 

So often we focus on the things that we want in our lives instead of the things that we already have. 

For example, simply having the option to save up for a large purchase, instead of taking on debt, is something to be proud of and also grateful for. 

Go ahead, acknowledge all of the things you are grateful for and watch the frustration of having to wait to enjoy something begin to fade. 

Is There a Campervan In My Future?

I have no clue what the future holds, but I do know that I’m going to continue to set money aside and slowly but surely save up for a potential campervan purchase. 

Along the way, I’ll need to remind myself that I’m committed to doing this without taking on debt and stay grateful for things that are truly wonderful in my life now. 

Staying focused on the present, and not what “could be”, will likely be the toughest part to finding patience along my savings journey.

But with some simple awareness, I’m confident I’ll be able to tackle my impatience and frustration head on when it rears it’s ugly head. 

I Got This and So Do You 

Patiently saving up for a purchase is tough in today’s world. 

We are used to having things now, and it’s only natural that we often struggle on our savings journey. 

But with a little patience, it’s possible to enjoy your savings journey and ultimately meet your goals.

So go on, manifest that patience and crush those savings goals one paycheck at a time.

You got this!

If you want to create your own money plan that will help you finally start saving money each month, check out How to Finally Reach Your Savings Goals: A 5-step plan with worksheet.

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4 Responses

  1. This was a great post!

    So many people struggle with saving money. The cool thing for me is that sometimes you don’t have to increase your savings if you can increase your earnings. I have gotten to the point where I can only penny pinch so far.

    Thank you for all the great insights!

  2. “Simply having the option to save up for a large purchase, instead of taking on debt, is something to be proud of and also grateful for. ” Amen! The best things are worth waiting for (and working for), and it feels so good to cash-flow goals, even if it takes longer.

  3. This article hits home for me. I also have sinking funds for future purchases. I think the real beauty of having to wait is that many times I realize I didn’t actually want what I thought I did. Forcing myself to spend time reflecting on purchases helps me end up with the things I really need . Not just things I wanted in the moment.

  4. Way to keep your cool and stay conscientious about your spending – I know how difficult that is!

    Maybe while biding your time, you could channel that excitement about the campervan into planning the trips you’ll take, what post-purchase modifications you might need to make, and of course being patient might even allow you to find a better deal!

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Picture of Melody Creator of Cash for Tacos

Hi! I’m Melody and I want to help you create a vision for your life and provide you the necessary tools to use your money to make your vision a reality. 

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