The reward centers of your brain are insatiable. Those little serotonin and dopamine receptors (and whatever else…I’m not a scientist) need frequent stimulation in order to make you feel happy and fulfilled. People experience this stimulation through, among other things, novelty. It’s why we like to go new places, meet new people, and try new foods. It’s also why it’s easy to get stuck in an emotional rut when you aren’t able to break away from your routine for a long time. Yes indeed, novelty is the essence of satisfaction, for some people more than others. But how do we still scratch the itch of novelty and fun when we’re trying to be frugal?
Personal finance is all about self-control with money. But money is how many of us acquire the stuff and experiences that translates into satisfaction. If, all of a sudden, we cut off the flow of stuff we enjoy (eating out at restaurants, paying for awesome entertainment, buying sexy stuff), it’s easy to start to feel kind of bummed out. That’s why a lot of saving and investment plans never really get off the ground. People are just too bored to keep it up. That’s why it’s vital to keep an element of fun in your early saving in investment plans. When you’ve achieved some measure of wealth, you can afford more of life’s luxuries. But to get to that point, you’ve got to learn some tricks.
- Learn to DIY. If you can learn to do for yourself many of the things that you pay other people to do for you, you’ll accomplish two things which will help you save and invest your money. A) These things will take time, so you won’t have as much time to be bored and wasteful with your money. B) You’ll get the same buzz from learning how to grill the ultimate burger that you will from buying it at an expensive restaurant, especially if you share the experience with friends. Tactics like these can help you have the same satisfying experiences you enjoy, while saving money by doing the work yourself. You’ll also pick up lifelong skills this way.
- Use Technology Investment. The most efficient way is not always the best way, because it’s not always a way that you’ll stay interested in long enough to actually accomplish. This is especially true of investment. There are plenty of ways to make money reliably, but they’re boring as toast. There are lots of modern apps and services which makes investment easy and fun, but they skim a little money off the top to make their living. Some investors sneer at stuff like this, but I say, if it’s the difference between you investing and not investing, services like these are worth it. CMC Markets Trading Platforms bring the fun to investment. By using fast paced day trading approaches, you essentially gamify your investment, all while learning real skills which will serve you well for the rest of your investment life.
So learn how to have a fun time with your frugality and investment decisions. It may require a change of pace, or an entirely new lifestyle. But it’s still possible to have an awesome life and grow wealthy, without having to pick one or the other.