Mind tricks to help you maintain a budget

calculating paperwork

In a perfect world, taking care of your finances would be easy. Unfortunately, in real life, saving and trying to maintain a budget can be fraught with complications - it's hard to make sacrifices, avoid temptations and stay disciplined.

Thankfully, we have the power of our brains to help us get over that. There are many psychological tricks that we can utilise to make budgeting easier.

Make automatic deductions to your pay cheque

Set up an automatic transfer of funds and have a part of your pay cheque automatically diverted into another account. Sure, you'll still be able to access these funds - however, you'll automatically start thinking about your salary as a lower amount, because the money is taken out before it hits your bank account.

By setting this artificial limit on your spending, you will automatically put yourself in the mindset of sticking to your spending limit. Remember to make use of MOVO's Lifestyle Budgeting Tool to work out what the amount you'll actually need will be.

Avoid store tricks

Numerous studies have found a link between the type of music played in stores and the purchasing habits of those listening to it - low-tempo music, for example, tends to make shoppers buy more, as does classical music. Therefore, consider wearing headphones when you go shopping, to stop yourself being subconsciously lured into spending more.

Along with this, eat a snack before you go shopping. If you go the supermarket, this will help you avoid the temptation of buying something in-store.

Think of spending as slowing down your progress

This requires you to more consciously re-orient your thinking. If you look at your financial behaviour as an exercise in moving toward a goal, you can change the way you act.

For example, look at your spending as something that slows down your progress, while saving as a boost. Each time you spend unnecessarily, you've taken a step back, while putting funds away brings you closer to your aim. If you formulate your behaviour this way, you'll be surprised how much more disciplined you will be.