Why is saving so hard?


Step away from the department store Isla

In my teens, my mother attempted to encourage my sense of self-identity by giving me a clothing allowance. Rather than spend it, instead I stockpiled my money and rotated my wardrobe between two pretty hideous polar fleece tops – it was the 90s and polar fleece was everywhere.

I’ve always been a saver, but let’s face it, I’m a little odd. Given the choice of spending money or saving it, most of us would probably choose the former.

According to psychologist Nigel Latta, we’re programmed to think of saving as a loss – money that disappears into a figurative black hole. On the flip side, we love the instant gratification that comes with spending, which is the reason why superannuation accounts are often dismally overlooked until we’re much closer to retirement.

Change your saving mindset

Another way to think of saving is money we get to spend…  later. To do this we need to set realistic goals at the outset to make the task more achievable. Most of us are just not cut out to deprive ourselves of a huge chunk of our cash flow the way a Biggest Loser contestant does with their calorie intake.

How to make saving easier

1. Set up a separate account for your savings
Choose a saving account with a higher interest rate or one with bonus interest if you don’t withdraw your money. Many banks also allow you to hide your saving account from yourself online by adjusting your settings.

2. Automate it
We are much happier to save if we don’t actually see the money we’re saving. Set up an automatic payment into your separate saving account so that when payday comes, you won’t miss what you never had.

3. Set a goal
Decide on what your “spend later” money will actually get you – whether it be a holiday, a new car or even a deposit on a house, it’s much easier to save towards something you really, really want.


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Miss Money Box is an education website that provides easy to understand information about money and personal finance. The information contained on missmoneybox.com should not replace that of professional financial advice.

4 thoughts on “Why is saving so hard?

  1. Absolutely agree, I was reading a study yesterday about monkey’s and bananas that explained this as well. We are hardwired to want to utilise what we have (i.e. spend all the money) so we need to ‘trick’ ourselves into thinking we don’t have it in the first place and/or get exciting about what we could have if we are patient (but not too patient). 3 great tips here 🙂

  2. I like how short and to the point this was – most people who struggle with or don’t enjoy saving really don’t want to hear us blabber on about it. I’ve always enjoyed saving money but I do realise that this is kind of a “lucky” personality trait to have, although I’ve seen honed it in and am constantly perfecting my savings mindset.

    Having a goal is massive, since we started seriously working towards FIRE our financial choices have a lot more direction, and we have been motivated to earn even more money even though we were comfortably saving on our previous household income. The power of goals are huge.

    Mrs DDU

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