This post is from Qapital, the free money saving app that lets you save for the things you want just by doing the things you do. Qapital will automatically give Freelancers Union members $10 toward a Goal once your first savings deposit hits your Goals account.
The only way to make sure you get the most out of your money is to make your own financial decisions. You know what makes you happy and what doesn’t. Sure, you can’t eat money or talk to money or play with money or cuddle with money, but you can buy things that you can eat, play and cuddle with...
Making deliberate, meaningful choices that cultivate the kind of life you want to lead is a crucial aspect of financial freedom. The pressure can feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few things to keep in mind and fight off that fear.
What you save for is equally as important as how much you save.
Anytime you make a financial goal for yourself, the question you should ask is ”why?” Why are you saving for it? Why do you want it? Why do you need it? Why do you care about it?
Not because you shouldn’t buy things you want but don’t necessarily need, but because you should save money for and spend money on things that actually make you happy, not things you think should make you happy.
Whether you’re considering a big goal (like paying off student loan debt), a smaller goal (like a flight home for granny’s birthday), a professional goal (a new computer), or a personal goal (spa weekend)... The objective is meaningful impact on your life. A culmination of decisions with your happiness at the heart of them can only have one result: satisfaction.
Make a list of the things that matter most to you, and then make goals to help you achieve them. If you won’t get personal or professional gain from it, then it doesn’t really matter to you.
Rules you set for yourself shouldn’t feel limiting, they should feel liberating.
You don’t have to think of the $20 you put away every week for retirement as money you can’t spend (or shouldn’t spend). Think of that money as something you can spend on whatever you want, and feel good knowing you chose something that will bring you happiness later, something you won’t regret. Guilt and anxiety have no place in your financial decision-making process, and that includes buyer’s remorse.
Of course, we can’t all be perfect all the time. If we were, “cheat days” wouldn’t exist—along with most delicious pastries. Indulgence plays an important role in overall happiness and satisfaction, which is why it’s important not to fight your urges but make them work in your favor.
In fact, at Qapital, our app has a “guilty pleasure” savings rule that puts money away every time you indulge yourself. So that, say, every time you take an Uber home instead of the train you save $15 towards a new car. Or, every time you purchase something for yourself off Amazon you put away a couple bucks towards a gift for your next anniversary gift.
When saving and spending rules you devise fit into your everyday life and habits, it becomes easy to trust yourself and the financial decisions you make for yourself. Stick to your guns.
Waiting doesn’t have the be the worst part of saving.
When you get impatient waiting for your savings to pile up, focus on the finish line. Numerous studies by economic behaviorists have proven that anticipatory happiness can leave a significant impression on your brain.
Seriously, just looking forward to that week in Hawaii that’s still two months way will make you feel happier. Let your imagination run wild and reap all the benefits of buying yourself something nice, for free.
Sometimes the question isn’t what but who you’re spending money on.
Ultimately, your money is for you. To live off of, to have fun with, to help you grow and succeed in your endeavors. But that doesn’t require every cent you make to be spent on yourself. There’s a to gain from spending money on others—and we’re not just talking about charity or investments (which are indeed both great ways to spend money on others).
You know that feeling you get when you see your dad’s face as he opens a super heartfelt Father’s Day gift? That feeling when you surprise your partner the perfect anniversary present? Or the feeling when you take best friend on an adventure they’ll never forget? That kind of satisfaction only comes from spending money on people you care about.
So buy something nice for your roommate. Treat the person behind you in line at the cafe to a cup of coffee. “Sharing is caring,” said every kindergarten teacher ever, but it rings true. Sharing your wealth is a meaningful endeavor whether it’s donating $300 to a relief fund or sending a $2 postcard to your cousin. That kind of deliberate, generous spending can bring you a different kind of happiness than buying things for yourself.
Don’t know who you want to spend your dough on? Imagine yourself trapped on a desert island, who you would want there with you? Your brother? That bartender with jokes for days? Your gym buddy?
There’s your answer, now you just decide what to get them. Dog training classes for that puppy your little bro just adopted? An extra large tip for that hilarious bartender? Treat that gym buddy to a macrobiotic dinner after your next weightlifting session? It all comes back to you.
At Qapital, we built a tool for shared goals too. So you and your brother can go in on that Father’s Day present together, your partner can also contribute to your anniversary trip, or your entire intramural sports team can chip in for custom jerseys. Share the love.
Rainy day funds can be literal lifesavers.
Don’t think you have anything special you need to save for? Think again. Just because you don’t have a new stereo, vacation, couch, or set of paintbrushes on the mind doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t be saving money. It’s always good to have a little something put away, even if not for anything in particular.
That unpredictable medical expense you don’t see coming around the corner? Sorted. That unforeseeable travel expense when you get stranded on your dream vacation? Handled. That 80th birthday you forgot you have to fly home for? Paid for.
You don’t always know when you’re going to need a rainy day fund, but you’ll always be glad to have one when you do. Sometimes playing it safe is playing it smart.
At Qapital, we work to build innovative tools—like automatic, customizable saving goals and rules, and a Qapital Visa® Debit Card—that help to manage money, helping people reduce waste, generate more savings, and gain the confidence they need to maximize their financial happiness.
Save small, live large.
Qapital will automatically give Freelancers Union members $10 toward a Goal once after your first savings deposit hits your Goals account.