By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TVBy Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) – When it comes to spending, a recent survey by the American Psychological Association found the majority of Americans started the year with goal of saving more money.

Nearly 40-percent wanted to pay down debt.

Reaching those goals requires willpower.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports

We can be tempted from going to the mall or the grocery store, or even sitting in front of a computer screen.

About a quarter of those asked in the survey said they don’t have enough willpower.

There are tricks, according to the APA, to change that.

  1. Start by tackling one financial decision at time. This can keep you from getting overwhelmed.
  2. Next, track your spending. Seeing is believing when all the numbers start to add up.
  3. Lean on a support system, whether it’s your family, friends, or members of a social network.
  4. Finally, avoid situations which you know will tempt you to spend.

Dr. Katherine Nordal of the APA cited one example of how a consumer might help themselves reach their goal:

“Say, OK, I’m going to the mall this weekend but . . . I can only spend $20-$25, so that’s all the money I am going to take with me, and I may take it in cash and I’ll leave the credit cards at home.”

Experts say willpower is a lot like a muscle.

The more you exercise it, the stronger it will get.

Comments (2)
  1. Those are some great tips. It’s true everyone I’ve spoken to that would like to save and budget just doesn’t. They feel they don’t have the discipline or the knowledge to budget so they forget about it. Great Tips.

  2. I can attest that willpower is certainly necessary for paying down debts. My wife and I recently became a two-income family and I must say, it’s nice having that extra money coming in each month. But we have some debts to pay off and we’re just starting to save for retirement, so sometimes we have to will ourselves to put money towards obligations before wants.

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