How to Save Money Like a Madman (5 Tips for the Possessed!)

Let’s take your savings to the next level.

If you’re like me, you have the knowledge and tools to help you save more money.

Still, like me, you may occasionally lack the mental edge to take your money saving abilities to the next level. Heck, sometimes life just gets in the way. We’re all human, right?

In this post I’m going to challenge you to consider changing your mindset about saving money. Thus, increasing your chances of meeting your savings goals and more quickly attaining financial freedom.

Visualize Your Savings Success

Whenever I’m faced with a tough challenge, one of the techniques I use to help me overcome is creative visualization. I try and visualize myself eliminating hurdles in my life and achieving success.

For instance, when I’m going for a jog and not feeling up to it, I visualize myself as an elite athlete being able to blaze around a track and achieve a runner’s high. When thinking about my debt, I see myself driving a big snow-plow pushing my debt snowball down a hill and destroying all debts and high-interest along the way.

Try it. Pick a problem you’re currently faced with and visualize yourself, in an inspiring or even funny way, eliminating your problem.

It may sound silly, but another visualization to use it to see yourself as a madman, possessed with supernatural powers to be used towards destroying your problems. I like to visualize Gene Wilder from Young Frankenstein.


It’s this slightly crazed attitude towards your savings goals that can take you from mediocre to excellence. From little savings and hope for the future, to a hefty savings balance and confidence towards meeting your end goals.

Become a Money Saving Madman

Beyond the visualization and psychobabble, try these practical tips for acting like a madman (or mad-woman) with your savings:

Get Paranoid – Like the madman, you’ve got to believe that “they are out to get you!” By “they”, I mean life’s emergencies and set-backs: job losses, higher taxes in retirement, medical problems, etc. Channel your own fear and uncertainty into action. Know the risks involved with your future and take the steps to minimize them.

Be Intense – I’ve found that to truly create success with my life (whether physically, spiritually, or financially) there needs to be a time when I’m focused intensely on the subject at hand. To get serious madman-like intensity towards your savings goals you need to surround yourself with the idea of saving more of your money. I do this by reading every personal finance blog and book I can get my hands on, carefully studying others who’ve had success in saving, and by taking the time to fully understanding where my money is coming from and going to.

Find a Life Passion For Saving – Over time, your intensity will turn into a passion. It will become a never-ending intensity. Not only will you be taking in more and more saving knowledge, but you’ll be sharing it and involving others, creating a circle of accountability in your life.

Develop a Sixth Sense – A savings madman is so focused and intent on his savings goals that he begins to develop a sixth sense about how to properly handle every financial transaction in his life. This sixth sense materializes itself in increased opportunities for earning and saving and decreased unnecessary spending.

Use the Right Tools – Lastly, the savings madman is always tinkering with the best tools in his savings workshop. Automatic savings, high-interest savings accounts, and tax-deferred retirement savings accounts (401Ks and IRAs) are just a few that come to mind that have been effective for me.

Do you have an inner madman? Or madwoman? If so, I challenge you to visualize him and unleash him/her on your savings goals and begin your crazed path towards a solid financial future.

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  1. Avatar Financial Samurai says:

    I have a Freedom Fund bar on my site, with a $1 million cash goal. Seeing that bar move to the right is what keeps me going.

    I haven’t spent anything on junk in the past 40 days, and it feels great.

  2. Avatar Save Money Hound says:

    Go money madman. I wouldn’t get in his or her way!

  3. love it! (insert evil laugh here)

  4. Avatar Gerald Weber says:

    Great article. I love the madman analogy!

  5. I completely agree about the paranoia. My husband and I are living on very limited income at the moment. He’s on unemployment, I’m on disability. We both have health problems. So while we make plans, we also accept that there will very probably be unforeseen costs that will crop up.

    The only real way to keep your sanity, especially when you’re low income, is to be an optimistic pessimist. You expect the worst while hoping for the best.

    It seems to be working for us. We just finished paying down the last $2000 of his student loans since June. And now we can tackle the credit cards.

  6. Avatar SavingDiva says:

    I like setting monthly goals…creating a budget…and trying to save even small amounts

  7. Another madman-esque type tactic is to cut out things that you like but can go without. Do you like your TV? Do you need it? Do you like coffee? Do you need it? Do you like snack/junk foods? Do you need it?

    Costs will fall dramatically for most people, increasing your savings dramatically.

  8. @ Doctor S – Thanks! Yeah, I agree that a “paranoid” approach has it’s limits. That’s why you should (a) have an end goal in mind; and (b) try and set up your savings automatically, right? I see the paranoid part as the motivator to get you headed in the right direction initially, or to help you rebalance when life throws you changes (move to one income).

  9. HAHA Great post man. Gene Wilder reference is great, I really like the approach you take, but do we really want to become paranoid with it? I do it alot too but sometimes it can take its toll on you and become stressful? Are you still enjoying your life if you are constantly stressing over trying to save? I am not taking sides, just asking more questions b/c your post really made me think!!!!

  10. Loved your post! Getting a little paranoid these days is easy with the economy like it is. Great time to pump up the emergency fund!

  11. Saving? In this day and age most people would think that you were a madman for even suggesting a savings plan!

    But I have to say that I agree wholeheartedly with the points that you have made.

    Excellent post!

  12. @John – …another good point. a savings madman is a loner. he doesn’t pay attention to the Jones’ or the ads on TV. he stands alone in his fight to save more. i like it!

  13. Avatar John A Simpson says:

    This is a great post. I have been trying to save and trying to teach my kids to save for a while. I really believe it’s a mindset that you have to get yourself into because the American lifestyle is pushing against saving money.

  14. I truly believe your theory about “The Sixth Sense”. I have had this sixth sense since shortly after I finished school and began to work (and pile up debt). I have a different outlook about money and life than my husband and friends and believe that life is not meant to be lived in debt; with debt you create stress. Money stress brings you down and makes you sick. Buy what you can afford or do not make purchases…PERIOD!

  15. @J – “No! It’s not true!”
    @Mr. ToughMoneyLove – excellent point…too much madman and you’ll end up with a lot of money and no purpose.

  16. Avatar money funk says:

    Great post! Love the Wilder reference. Perfect!

  17. Avatar christmas says:

    I agree totally on being intense and being able to visualize your success. Before every workout I try to listen to the most intense music I love because it keeps me pumped up.

  18. Very good post today; if we can see it (savings) happening and reaching our goals systematically, we can achieve the goal we set. Make a plan, visualize the process, and then take the small steps to make it come to fruition. Just do it!

  19. Spoken like a madman. Sounds like you’re getting ready to do some serious saving.

  20. Avatar Mr. ToughMoneyLove says:

    I would add another factor and probably put it at the top of your list: Have a specific savings goal. Saving is a strategy to achieve a goal. Saving money for money’s sake is not highly motivating. Saving to achieve a valued financial goal is highly motivating.

  21. “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to the dark side…” – or in my case, absolute, unrelenting determination. In the end, it doesn’t matter which emotion you draw upon, so long as the energy is channeled towards a positive goal.

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