If you struggle to save money, it could be as simple as playing a trick on your mind. A new survey by Capital Group asked half of participants to imagine how they want to live in their 60s, 70s, and 80s and half weren’t asked, then they were all asked how much they wanted to save for retirement. And the group who visualized life as retirees opted to save 31% more per paycheck than those who didn’t. But that’s not the only trick that could help your finances. Try these psychological tricks that could help you spend less and save more.
- Convert the price tag of what you want to buy into working hours - Figure out what you earn in an hour at your job and when you see something you want to spend on, think about how many hours you have to work to pay for it. Knowing you’ll work 10 hours to pay for something may make it less appealing.
- Carry around new, big bills - Spending cash helps you spend less than sliding a card, but having only $100 bills makes you less likely to spend than carrying smaller bills, according to one study. And another study finds having crisp, new bills helps curb spending more than old, worn-out ones.
- Don’t touch - Several studies have shown that we’re more likely to buy something we touch, so don’t pick up something you really don’t want to spend on.
- Hide money from yourself - Take advantage of automatic withdrawals and transfers so it looks like you have less money than you do.
- Block yourself - If you really feel like you just can’t stop spending, you can install a purchase blocker on your phone or computer to help you stop buying things, like the Chrome extension called Icebox that blocks buy buttons on around 500 stores. Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures.