There are lots of apps on the market designed to track your spend, create budgets and find ways to save.

I’ll let you into a secret: these apps won’t really help you unless you’re motivated to change your behaviour.

Sure, these apps will provide insight into where and how you burn through your cash. You might even be inspired to go on a savings spree. You set a target and begin cutting costs. You pack your lunch. You stop buying coffee. You cook meals at home rather going out to eat.

After a couple of weeks you look at your bank account…and see you’ve reached something like five percent of your target. And just like that you’re back to your usual spending habits.

Apps won’t solve this problem. Only adjusting our attitude will. We need to recognise why we give up. And that’s largely because we’re unable to reconcile our expectations (which are huge) to the reality of our accomplishments (which tend to be small).

So how about we stop viewing small accomplishments as failures? Instead, let’s start treating them for what they truly are: small wins.

If we do this we have we have a much better way to get – and stay – motivated. If we do this we have a more effective – and kinder – way to assess our efforts to change.

Here’s a challenge for you. Rather than create a traditional financial goal that’s measured by the bank balance (“I will aim to save 1000 pounds over three months”), create a simple goal that’s measured by everyday behaviour (“Today I will not buy lunch”).

And then see if you can extend that streak for as many days as you can. Small wins, when added up, can be meaningful.


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