We all might have our next adventure planned out in our mind’s eye – and whatever shape or form that might take, you’ll want to have a bit of extra cash in your pocket. It may seem obvious, but some people’s eyes are bigger than their stomachs! How do you go about getting this extra cash though?

The best and easiest way of making your wallet a bit fuller is to start saving. To help you on your savings journey, you’re going to want to give yourself some savings goals. These can really help you get to the amount you want to reach, but the most important thing to remember is to keep your goals achievable. 

By knowing exactly what goes in and out of your bank account can make this much easier, and can also show to you places you might be able to cut back or even cut out completely. Let’s go through some of the best ways you can stick to savings goals.

Long Term Goal vs Monthly Savings Target

First of all, set yourself a long term goal. This will give you a time frame that you should achieve a certain amount in savings by. Once you have your long term goal, you should break this down into smaller, more manageable targets. Like when training for a marathon, you’ll want to build it up incrementally. You can’t get to the finish line (the long term goal) straight away!

This is where your monthly savings target comes into play. Once you have your long term goal mapped out, you can then work out what your monthly savings target is. You can also work out whether your long term goal is indeed manageable by looking at your monthly savings target. If you have gone a bit overboard with your long term goal, then your monthly savings target may be a bit tricky, and you may have to adjust.

Create a Timeline and Deadlines

Depending on what you want to spend your savings on will impact your timeline. Stockpiling your savings as your deadline date approaches will ensure you can meet your long term goal and stick to your savings goals. Say you’re saving up for a house mortgage, and you give yourself four years to reach that point, you should give yourself a timeline review every six months before your deadline. By doing this, you can review whether you’re on track to reach your deadline.

If you find yourself slightly under where you should be on your timeline, you’ll have to adjust your deadline – this means you end up extending your timeline, and could put you off track. While this might be a cause for concern, it can happen all the time, so don’t worry too much. If it’s your first time trying to save, it may happen a couple of times, so you’ll find yourself with a longer timeline. 

Focus on the process over the end goal. Your long term goal is only one of the goals you should have in mind, and you should make sure that your monthly savings targets positively impacts your lifestyle and doesn’t become burdensome. Always remember the things that you are gaining and learning along the way – self-restraint, financial confidence, and at the end of it, you’ll be able to get that long-desired item!

Use the Right Tools

There are some handy tools available for sticking to your savings goals, especially if you’re planning on saving for a longer time period. Things like investments will give your money better returns and will stop them from depreciating, meaning you will be able to reach your savings goal quicker than you originally planned. 

If you want more options about what you could use to stick to savings goals, you could get in touch with your bank and see what advice you can get from them. They may have some great tools at their disposal that could help you reach your savings goals. With so many tools out there, it can be good to get professional advice about how to go about it. You can also go for some apps that will tell you how to stick to savings goals.

Track your Goals

This is the most important part of sticking to your savings goals. You could either put all your savings into one master account, where you can see your goals and build up to your endpoint, or you could spread your savings across multiple accounts. Some accounts might be eligible to accrue more interest as well, so having several accounts holding your savings will potentially help you reach your goal. 

Reevaluating your goals can also be good to reinvigorate your enthusiasm in them too, and will give you the energy to keep on going on the path to reaching your savings goal. You can also arrange a ‘money date’ where once a month you sit down with a friend and go through your finances. Looking over your finances with someone else can make you see your progress with fresh eyes, and you can also consider where you might have been spending a little bit too much too.

Reward yourself for Milestones

Finally, you’ve got to try and keep this fun for yourself, so give yourself rewards. You could always try and put a little bit extra in each month so you can have a reward for reaching your milestone. This could be having a nice meal or a trip out with friends. Give yourself a hard-earned treat for all your hard work.

Also, if you find you don’t reach your milestone, don’t be too hard on yourself. You have to be realistic and keep things achievable, and no-one knows yourself better than you, so if you know that you are going to slip up a bit, then let it happen. Don’t make a habit of it though – if you slip up, try and balance the books next month. Similarly, if you’re smashing it, then keep on going! 

About the author

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a financial services expert, with over 10 years’ experience in the industry, including 6 years in FCA regulated companies. Read more
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