Most of us are actually pretty money smart. We understand the value of creating a budget and having the right accounts and savings vehicles to help us reach our goals. We know about emergency funds, the importance of getting out of debt, and are good at delaying gratification and making priorities to guide our spending.
So why do so many of us lose steam when it comes to seriously saving money?
It’s not because you don’t have the right financial planner, the perfect app, or the best interest rates. It’s not your parent’s, kids' or spouse’s fault. It’s not just because life is expensive and full of unexpected twists and turns.
Often, we know what to do. We need to trim spending, automate savings, pick up a side hustle. And we know how to do it—create a budget, set up automatic transfers, advertise our services.
But one of the biggest roadblocks to successfully saving money is that we don’t know our “why.”
Start with a Why
Simon Sinek, author of Start with the Why, explains that we are most motivated by knowing why we do things.
“Why” provides clarity. Finding the why means understanding more clearly what we believe and the reasons behind our actions.
To find the why behind your desire to save money, you need to start with a why statement:
I want to save money so that I can ________________.
It might be tempting to say, “I want to save money so I can quit my job,” which is true, but your why goes deeper. To find a deeper reason you need to keep asking the question.
In this example, asking why might reveal even more motivation:
- Why? So I can go back to school and study nursing.
- Why? Because I admire the nursing profession and want to be part of it.
- Why? Because when my grandmother had her stroke, I was amazed by the nurses caring for her.
- Why? Because they changed her life for the better.
- Why? Because they empowered her, helped her stay healthy and independent, and that meant she could live in her own home and have a great quality of life.
So now we have a motivation to save money that is connected to a deep-seated desire to make a life change that will positively impact the lives of others.
You Have a Why...Now What?
Whenever you make a financial decision—deciding what groceries to buy, browsing the sale rack at a store, donating to a charity, asking for a raise—take your "why" with you. Bringing your “why” into your financial thoughts, plans, and actions helps you stay focused and motivated to achieve those goals.
At Citizens Bank, we want to know your why so we can help you make the most of your personal savings goals. Connect with a banker, open an account, and set yourself on the road to savings success with one of our personal savings accounts.