This article has been reprinted with permission from Gary Foreman of The Dollar Stretcher. You can find the original article here: Frugal Fatigue
Albert Einstein once said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
A reporter, doing a story on people who were tired of the effort that it takes to control spending, approached me recently. She wanted suggestions for people who were struggling and thinking of just giving up. What makes some people continue when the easiest course was to quit? And, how can you become that person?
The first suggestion is to make a decision and stick with it. Unless you have significant new information, you have no reason to rethink your decision.
Breaking big goals into smaller pieces is the second suggestion. Dividing a big goal into smaller goals allows you to savor successes along the way. Each one helps to motivate you to strive for the next small goal until you’ve accomplished the big goal.
Giving yourself rewards along the way is another great way to accomplish financial goals. If you’re paying off a credit card, treat yourself to a small reward at predetermined points along the way. Take your mind off of the struggle by looking forward to the reward.
Stay motivated with reminders. If you’re saving for a vacation, you’ll find that a picture of your desired destination can be a great motivation. Some people put a card in their wallet to remind them of their commitment to reduce debt. When they reach for cash or a credit card, it helps them resist needless purchases.
Finally, it’s helpful to have friends to encourage you and share experiences. A long journey is always easier if you have someone to share it with. Find a frugal partner at work or in your neighborhood. Or join an online discussion group. Not only will you find help, but also you’ll become stronger when you encourage others. In fact, we have one specifically on Frugal Fatigue.
So don’t be discouraged by the length of the journey. What’s important is that you stay on track for today. And, that’s something that all of us can do.
Gary Foreman is the founder of The Dollar Stretcher website and newsletters including Financial Independence a step-by-step approach to achieving your financial goals.