This mentality helps people become super savers
Author: Maurie Backman
Source: The Motley Fool
Saving money is something many people struggle with, and for good reason. Sometimes, life's expenses make it difficult to sock money away in a savings account, even when we try to be frugal.
There are certain habits you can adopt to help boost your savings. Following a budget every month, for example, could help you avoid spending too much on non-essentials. That could, in turn, help you free up more money to stick in the bank.
Steering clear of unhealthy credit card debt could also work wonders for your savings. If you're not throwing away money on interest charges, you have more cash to add to your emergency fund, retirement account, or whatever account balance you're hoping to boost.
But as helpful as these habits may be on the road to saving more, having the right attitude about spending money is also key. And there's one specific mentality that's helping lots of people boost their savings in a meaningful way.
Mind your own financial business
In a recent survey, respondents who are considered super savers were asked to explain how they're able to save so well. In this survey, a super saver is defined as someone who either saves a minimum of 15% of their income for retirement, or who contributes 90% or more of the maximum annual limit to an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
Some super savers pointed to paying bills on time as a habit that enables them to grow their wealth. Others pointed to spending time boosting their financial knowledge. But interestingly, 61% said that not being concerned with keeping up with the Joneses has helped them get to where they are today. And if you want to boost your savings, it could help to adopt a similar attitude.
In today's social media-saturated society, it's hard to ignore what other people do with their money. After all, how are you supposed to get on board with spending less when your neighbor shows off a brand new car, and your colleague keeps posting pictures of fabulous luxury vacations?
But as difficult as it may be to stop comparing yourself to others financially, or even trying to match their spending, it's an important habit to avoid. You don't know how your income stacks up to other people's. Maybe your neighbour with the nice new car earns more money than you think. Or maybe that neighbour lost a loved one recently and used an inheritance to buy that car.
You also don't know how much debt or how little savings other people have. Maybe your colleague whose income you're convinced is similar to yours takes all of those trips by carrying a $25,000 credit card balance that will make it difficult, if not impossible, to meet other goals, like buying a home.
Break that habit
Comparing ourselves to others and trying to keep up is a natural tendency. But if you find that you do that and you want to become a better saver, it's important that you stop.
When you're tempted to buy things, don't ask yourself what your neighbour or colleague would do in that situation. Instead, figure out what's good for you.
Also, set your own priorities. Maybe your colleague who travels often doesn't care about owning a home, but you do. In that case, it makes sense for your coworker to spend a lot on travel, and it makes sense for you to keep saving your money for a down payment.
Consider staying off social media
If you're have a hard time not keeping up with the people around you, taking a social media hiatus could be a good bet. The downside of social media is that it can make us feel inferior. So if you can't get past thinking you need to keep up with your peers from a financial standpoint, distance yourself a bit until your attitude shifts.
Spending less time on social media could be good for your mental health -- as could meeting the savings goals you set for yourself. So there's much to be gained by stepping away from social media, or at least limiting your exposure.
Focus on you
Everyone's financial picture and priorities are different. If you want to grow your savings, focus on your needs and goals, and don't worry about what other people are doing with their money.