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Seed #4- Master the habit of saving!

In order to address saving, you must be aware of your spendings. Make a list of all your financial obligations and earnings.  That way, you will develop a way to track your spending and income by setting a budget.  If you set a budget for your weekly, monthly, and yearly expenses you will have better control of your money.  But if you are not aware of your minimal obligations, you are simply playing catch up and blindly allocating your money to cover unplanned and potentially unnecessary expenses.  Once you have a budget, set yourself a goal to save a percentage of your income. I prefer to set a percentage (example- 10-20%) of the earnings, especially if your income fluctuates. It does not have to be a set amount.  It is more important to create a habit of saving than to struggle saving a specific amount (ie. $500.00 a month).

When you get into a habit of saving a percentage of your money, the behavior will always be there no matter how your income fluctuates.  The earlier in life you form this habit, the better you will be financially.  For example, you develop this habit while working summer jobs in high school, by the time you earn your education and make a more profitable salary, you will be making much higher contributions using the same habit but with a higher salary.  It is important to track your progress and reward yourself for achievements.  It doesn't have to be something big or expensive which in turn defeats the purpose of saving. Celebrate with a cup of ice cream, a meal at a restaurant, etc.  It is important to send the message of accomplishment to your brain by rewarding yourself with a positive reward. By using positive reinforcement, this trains your brain to continue that behavior. 

Another powerful technique is to set goals for your savings. When you reach the desired amount, use it as a plan and you can celebrate achieving that goal.  This will keep you motivated to repeat the cycle again and again.  What keeps you motivated to save? What is the most fulfilling saving goal you have achieved? What is your next goal? How would you reward yourself when you achieve your goal?

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