While you can’t always change the amount of money you’re earning, you can change your mindset in order to save more. We often forget to invest in our savings because the reward is not immediate or tangible, but if you adjust the way you’re looking at things, it will make it easier to save money and invest in your future.

1. Map out your exact retirement date

Do some calculations at home, or with a staff member at ELM3, in order to see the year, month, or even day when you can retire. Writing the date on a calendar or in your phone, and looking at it every time you make a contribution to your retirement account, will make it easier to regularly save.

2. Map out the day you will be debt free

As you work towards retirement, it’s important to pay off student loans, mortgages, and other debts that might make retirement difficult. Mapping out when you would be debt free, if you continued paying off debts in the manner you are now, will make it easier every time you have to make a payment.

3. Visualize a timeline

If you’re thinking of making a big purchase, think about how many more months or years you would have to work in order to pay off the item. Doing so will help put the purchase in perspective and keep you focused on retirement.

4. Set up intermediate savings goals

Write down savings goals, all the way up to your desired retirement date. That way you can keep your eye on the prize, while celebrating your little successes along the way.

5. Remember: Saving eliminates other stressors

Are you tired of stressing over stock returns because it will make or break your retirement? Are you tired of working overtime in order to meet your savings goals? Saving more on a day-to-day basis will eliminate these other stressors. So when you go to stress-buy some new clothes or a vacation, consider if the purchase will alleviate stress or actually cause more.