I’ve recently been feeling rather drained with almost 12 months of no holidays or treats and I’m honestly hitting a wall. My mental health is extremely important to me so I’ve been thinking of ways to reset my mindset to deal with the strain of saving.
Below are 5 methods I use whenever I feel this and I’m sharing them to help you too. Not enough people take care of their stress and emotion levels so please take a read and see if you can try some of these.
1. Know What’s Relative.
It’s very easy to look around and see everyone on social media smashing their savings goals and making your ‘£200 saved this month!’ post look puny and add to your strain. I would estimate that over 80% of my Instagram feed are American bloggers which is disheartening sometimes as they generally have larger salaries that we do here in the UK. When I see someone has squirrelled away in one month what I’ve taken a year to build up is extremely depressing but we have to remember what’s relative to your own salary goals.
I recently found out that someone close to me thought I was earning double what I do simply because they know how much we’ve been saving. That was a huge compliment as it shows that relative to my salary, I have come a long way. I have saved approx. 25% of my salary this year compared to the 1-3% I have previously attempted to save.
2. Offer Yourself Rewards
What’s the one thing you miss about your carefree money days? It might be a day out shopping, drinks with the girls or a meal out with family. Treat yourself with planned rewards once you hit certain goals to ease the strain. For example, if you save £1050, you can spend £50 on a night out. If you save £2100, you can have a £100 night in a hotel with your partner. Overreach and you can always reward yourself.
I personally don’t do this but I may introduce if the strain gets worse. My rewards would be a shop voucher, a meal out or an activity for my Fiancé and I.
3. Reflect on How Far You’ve Come
Taking time to sit back and look at how far you’ve come since you’ve changed your mindset can help you reset those negative feelings. We only started saving hard in July so when I look at the figure in the bank, I sometimes forget that that’s less than 12months of work. Remember to thank yourself for your hard work to feel empowered to carry on.
4. Remind Yourself Why
The main two reasons we are saving are for our wedding and our house deposit. Sometimes when it’s a long stressful week full of side hustling and no social activity I can forget why these things are important and it can add to your strain.
All I do to remind myself is to think of the alternative. Would I rather work hard now and start a married life with no debt? Or relax now but be paying off credit cards for the first 5 years of my married life? I know the logical answer and although that doesn’t mean it fixes the strain of saving, it helps.
5. Take Budgeted Breaks
If you were on a weight loss journey, you wouldn’t realistically expect to come in under your calorie count every day. Well, a savings journey is the same marathon at which you need to pace yourself.
Recently we took £400 out of our budget and booked a holiday to Berlin because we haven’t travelled since Paris in July 2017. At first I was dead against the idea of taking such a large contribution to our house deposit out but truthfully, I’ve been feeling drained of late and needed something to look forward to. When you’ve reached a peak where you do nothing but save, de-clutter, flog on ebay and spend nothing, you need to look after your metal health and take a (budgeted) break.
We are all human after all so although you’re stronger than most – and you are if you’re already on this journey – you still need to take some time for yourself, have some deep relaxing breaths and reset before you continue your journey. Not doing so will burn you out, stress you out and make you forget why you’re doing this. Good luck on your journey and I hope after reading this you’ll know it’s okay to take time for yourself without destroying your goals.