“$60 cover! Are you kidding me? Nobody’s going to pay that to still wait in line just to enter the club.”
That’s what I told the dude at the resort in Cancun, Mexico. He was in charge of organizing the entertainment for the night. The cover charge was $60 for the all-you-can-drink package (pretty much the only option).
The catch was that you still had to wait in line for hours and tip heavily just to get served for the drinks that you already paid for. There was no way that young folks could afford this. That’s what I thought at least.
I laughed at the idea of paying this much money. I normally wouldn’t even spend this much money when going out at home. I also figured that most folks in town were students or young professionals on a tight budget.
Surely, they couldn’t afford to be spending this much money every single night while on vacation.
Long story short: I paid and so did everyone else. The club was rammed with thousands of people partying and long lines everywhere. Everyone was also tipping since they wanted to get served again.
Today I’m going to explain to you The Cancun Technique for finally saving money and hitting your financial goals when you can’t find the motivation to take money seriously.
Why’s your bank account depressing?
You have no goals, no motivation, and you don’t care to save money.
Think about it. If you don’t have any goals in mind, you’re never going to save money. You’re just going to keep on keeping on.
You think that hope is a game plan.
Hope is never a game plan. Saving money is all about priorities. I’ve stressed this many times on here. The reality is that without priorities, we will spend our money on any party that comes up because boredom is dangerous.
This brings us to the technique I have created for you…
How do you apply The Cancun Technique to finally start saving money?
“Money is not the most important thing in the world. Love is. Fortunately, I love money.” — Jackie Mason
What’s The Cancun Technique for finally saving money? It boils down to this…
You’re going to save money if you have a clear goal, cut everything out, keep your eye on the prize, and work towards the goal because you actually want to see results.
You already know the deal.
The go-to financial advice is to pay yourself first, invest in yourself, and find a way to make more money.
The toughest part of the personal finance equation is often saving more money. I have friends who work insane hours only to still be broke at the end of the pay period. Most of us have enough energy to make money. We get lazy when it comes to saving money.
For example, nobody ever really saves money just to save. Nobody will save or do anything without a WHY.
The steps for this technique:
- Set a goal with a specific timeframe and dollar figure.
- Do whatever it takes and ruthlessly cut back on everything until you have the money saved up.
- Automate your savings.
- Repeat this process for every goal in your life when it comes to money.
I call this The Cancun Technique because just like that spring break getaway, when you want something, you’ll save up for it. If you don’t want something, you’ll creative excuses.
Yes, in the perfect world you’re going to have an emergency fund. In real life, you need something to get you excited.
Where did this idea for saving money come from?
Back to the original story…
How could thousands of tourists afford to pay this? How could young folks afford to spend at least $100 on a night out?
The dude explained to me that young people will always find a way to pay for partying.
I’ve remembered this ever since. We all have that friend who can’t afford lunch, rent, a course that will help them move up at work or their cell phone bill. Yet, they never ever miss a party. They’re always posting on social media about how wild last night was and how they were at the new club opening. It doesn’t make sense because you know they can’t even afford their cell phone bill. You know that the struggle to even eat sometimes.
When I went to Panama City Beach in 2014 I met students who did whatever it took to make it out for the trip. Some were staying in hotels illegally while others drove for 20 hours to make it down to party.
Does any of this make sense to you?
At first, it didn’t make sense to me. Then I slowly figured out over time that personal finance wasn’t logical. The experts often get it wrong about saving money in your 20s. None of us are logical about our finances.
Let’s go over the steps for the Cancun Technique.
1. Set a goal with a specific timeframe and dollar figure.
When do you want to have the money in your bank account? How much do you exactly need?
I’m closing a condo this September and I know exactly how much I need. I also know that the mortgage broker won’t accept any excuses or sob stories. This has forced me to hustle all summer.
Some examples of goals that will force you to save up are:
- You want to move out because you don’t want to live at home at 30. You either need enough money for a down-payment on a mortgage or to pay for rent.
- You want to quit your job. You know that you need $10,000 in the bank to do this.
- You want to travel more to get better pictures for your social media.
- You want to buy a new laptop for your freelance business.
2. Do whatever it takes and ruthlessly cut back on everything until you have the money saved up.
Okay, so you want a new laptop. What are you going to cut out? Where will you make sacrifices? You don’t need to save on everything. I just ask that you work on your problem areas.
This summer, I’m using a cash system for my food and coffee consumption. I take out a fixed amount of money for this category and that’s all I’m allowed to spend for the time period.
You can find whatever system works for you and get creative with it.
I don’t care if you use cash, credit cards, or some fancy app. Just cut everything out that you don’t need so that you can focus on what you really want.
3. Automate your savings.
It’s time to simplify everything. I have everything automated so that I don’t have to physically transfer any money.
Pick a dollar amount and have it come off your paycheck/out of your bank account at the same time automatically.
4. Repeat this process for every goal in your life when it comes to money.
Repeat. When you reach a target, find a new target.
Stop wasting your time on stuff that doesn’t matter!
“Your time is precious, don’t waste it (on video games, tv, etc.) and don’t trade it away for pennies (e.g. wait in line for 4 hours on Black Friday so that you can get a $30 discount on a TV). Don’t value your time at zero. Your time is finite and always decreasing — treat it as such.” — MJ DeMarco
Please value your time. Pick your battles. It’s okay to have your morning coffee if you’re on track with your financial goals. If you’re in debt and can’t breathe, then of course you need to cut back on everything until you humble that annoying debt.
I don’t preach frugality tips on here because they’re usually not realistic and you’ll just end up miserable. With clear goals, you’ll have your eye on the prize. You won’t feel stressed about working overtime because you know that Cancun is just around the corner.
Here’s your homework…
I want you to apply The Cancun Technique right now. You can read up on saving FU money or the one secret that makes personal finance easy.
Here’s the one secret that makes personal finance easy:
You can have whatever you want. Money management is only about saying no to the things that don’t matter to you so that you can focus on what you care about.
Eventually, you need to get into action. I’m like a proud father when one of my readers saves up and hits a goal. I love to hear from you guys.
I need you to complete your homework by answering the following questions:
What do you want to save up for?
Are you willing to cut back on everything else to get there?
Next, you need to sign up for a savings account/automating withdrawals and start saving! $20 a week adds up real fast.
Saving money isn’t about missing out on life. I want you to save money to have a better life.
16 thoughts on “Why Your Bank Account is Depressing (The Cancun Technique For Saving Money)”
Oh man, so so true about the partying. Even when it didn’t cost anything like college parties there was no stopping me going to them 🙂 I’d even venture to say I got my work done faster, and better, because I was so focused on having a life outside of school back then! Hah! Great post man… I have a feeling I’ll never forget that line too.
It’s so true. When in college you’ll always find a way to hit a party. Everything else becomes a distraction because the party is the main focus.
Too funny. It’s true that we’ll always find a way when we want something fun, especially if it involves fun. Sounds like The Cancun Method builds loss aversion (the fear of missing out) into the idea of saving. Nice!
The fear of missing out is dangerous. You don’t have to miss out if you plan and save for it. Great to hear from you!
Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right? It just takes the down deep motivation!
Lol you’re right! The motivation will depend on how badly you want the goals.
This is right on! If you don’t have a goal, you will find it next to impossible to save money. Or if you do save money, you’ll find it to be useless wealth unless you have an associated goal.
Exactly. Without goals it’s difficult for most of us to ever save up or care much about personal finance.
I agree, goal setting works! For some, maybe it’s okay to more or less wander aimlessly through life, guided by the latest shiny object that attracts our attention, and ending up… where ever. For others, if we want to achieve something, we need to identify that goal and then define, at least loosely, a path to get us there. It works, I think!
I knew that I wanted a condo at a young age and I saved for this. I didn’t let anything get in the way. Goals will vary in shape and size.
I’ve personally never paid the full $60 for any of the parties I’ve been to in Cancun back when I was in College (because I don’t really drink much). But reading your article just brought back memories of those insanely long lines and college kids throwing money at anyone and everything that suggested alcohol or a good time. But as long as your financial goals are clear, the cancun technique sounds pretty effective. Thanks for the fun read!
Thanks for the comment Anum, We like to have fun around here.
I haven’t ever paid a lot of money for a cover but I wouldn’t put it pass me if I was in that situation. Your article did bring back memories of how it was in school though. I think your right in needing to bring that same attitude to our finances TODAY!
You are right you have to pick your battles. I enjoyed this article, I think everyone needs to read this and possibly make some changes in their lives and do it today! Because you know what is down the road…retirement
It’s all about picking your battles Angela. There’s no sense in fighting every battle.
Great post. Having enough to go out and enjoy life’s pleasures without stressing over monthly bills. Setting up a standing order so that it moves my money on payday to a separate bank account definitely helps. Saving manually every month can leave room for excuses. Set payments to come out your checking account when the salary hits which auto transfer to a savings account has helped me for sure.