The challenges of financial motivation

I’ve written several posts this year, contemplating the challenge of keeping focused on finances. This is something I find tricky because I’m not particularly motivated by money – weird statement from someone who writes a PF blog, I know. I suppose what I mean is that the idea of having money for the sake of it just doesn’t really do it for me. However, I am interested in saving because I’d like to buy a larger house eventually, I don’t want to be left financially stranded in an emergency and, let’s face it, very few people aren’t going to have to provide for themselves in the future. Therein lies the challenge. When the goals get bigger (buying a house, providing for retirement, creating a nest egg or whatever the goal may be) they sometimes seem so far off that it can be hard be motivated by them, particularly when you start running out of fresh ideas for how to scrape any more out of your budget.

After writing my last post (‘Is Frugal Still Fashionable?’) which touched on this subject, I went on to read a few of my favourite blogs. Move To Portugal provided links to some great posts out there in the PF blof ether and this post at Get Rich Slowly, ‘What to do when personal finance becomes a bore’, really struck a chord. It discusses how difficult it can be to stay motivated once debts are paid off and you’ve cut your expenses down as far as they can go. It goes on to point out that once you are down to your bare essentials there isn’t much more you can cut before having to think of ways to earn extra money if you want to be able to save more. This really resounded with me. Some readers might remember a post I wrote a while back (you can read it here) where I talked about the struggle I was having in working out my long term financial plans because I didn’t really know where to place myself as a saver/spender anymore. The post at Get Rich Slowly talks about making saving a game which is kind of what I was trying to do with Project £1k. The goal is arbitrary really – I’m just saving for the future but trying to motivate myself by having something to work towards.

The post really gave me a bit of food for thought as I don’t often consider how to make more money – I tend to just concentrate on how to spend less of it! I don’t know exactly where I’m going to go with this train of thought. Things are busy at the moment so I suppose I’ll just let it rattle around in the old grey matter for a bit until I hit upon an idea.

Categories: Frugal ideas, Saving | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “The challenges of financial motivation

  1. Right there with you on this one.. there is only so much you can strip back on your spending before focusing on generating income. I plan to do both of these next year!!

    • shoestringalley

      I look forward to hearing about how you do! Good luck with the project.

  2. I’ve found that once you start thinking of ways to make extra money, even if they’re small, it leads to more ideas. I think you’re in the right place to toss it around in your brain for a while.

    • shoestringalley

      This is true – once you start thinking about something, things suddenly seem to crop up. Can’t think of much except ebay at the moment though!

  3. Wise words here. Something I struggle with endlessly…’d have thought I’d got ‘it’ by now. I am so keen to sort out my finances but constantly manage to get waylaid.

    On the generating income front – well I’ve taken the often frowned upon decision to write the odd sponsored blog post or two. It pays quite nicely and needs must. If it really turns people off I’ll stop doing it, but I thought I’d give it a try.

    • shoestringalley

      I don’t think people mind as long as you say it is a sponsored post and write an honest review. I find it interesting to hear what ‘real’ people have to say about some of the products and services out there. In fact, if I’m buying online I always prefer to buy from a site that has reviews and comments from customers. Maybe I ought to look into it!

  4. am with you.. and also we have had a fair few ‘discussions’ in our house, when I am trying to save money, it is pointed out that perhaps I could be thinking of ways to earn more instead. I am trying both these days….. its a pincer movement! and goals are good, otherwise its hard to keep the interest

    • shoestringalley

      I think trying to do a bit of both is the way forward. The thing I am mindful of is trying to keep a balance. My time is nearly always more valuable to me than extra cash! I totally agree that it is hard to keep going if you don’t have goals.

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