It’s funny how similar weight loss advice and debt reduction tips can be. Yesterday I read a blurb in an old issue of Health magazine advising individuals to track their workouts by marking them on a calendar. According to the article, you mark an X on each day you workout. If you look up at the calendar and don’t see any X’s for the week, you need to head to the gym.
This same approach works for saving money. You can place an X on the calendar for each day that you don’t spend money. If you don’t see any X’s on the calendar, you need to leave your credit cards and ATM card at home.
The idea is to provide yourself with a visual representation of your habits, with the hope that the visualization will reinforce good behaviors and ultimately allow you to form better habits.
In addition to using a calendar to mark spend-free days, you can also write down how much money you save each week through coupons, rebates, etc. I came across this idea in an old issue of Woman’s Day magazine. A coupon-clipping couple kept track of their savings by writing the amount saved each week on their calendar. At the end of the year they totaled their savings and celebrated their windfall with dinner out or an evening away.
When I first started clipping coupons and saving money I found I needed reminders to save. After all, unless you were raised in a frugal family you probably don’t particularly like clipping coupons and holding pot-lucks instead of going out to dinner. It never hurts to keep reminders around to encourage you.