It is no surprise that people who set themselves a savings goal achieve their target faster.
If you are serious about that first time home, dream luxury holiday or you are saving for retirement, set your goal, work out what you are able to save every month and watch it grow.
Set Savings Your Goal
I was starting from scratch so I got to work squirrelling away all the spare money I had. I’m still on target 4 months in.
If you set your goal you’ll reach it faster. If you’re new to saving and it seems a bit daunting, try starting with a smaller goal.
Even if you’re just saving for one of the UK’s famous rainy days, you’re far more likely to succeed if you have a firm goal in mind.
What are you waiting for? Grab a pen and write it down!
Decide An Amount And Stick To It
It depends on the cost of your goal. I set myself an initial target of £5,000. Investing it into the right accounts will see me smash my original target as long as I stick to the plan.
That initial target is now a 15 year plan to retire.
I have been inspired by people like Mr Money Mustache who have already managed it and are now fully retired.
How much spare cash do you have left at the end of the month, and how quick do you want to realise your goal?
If you’re saving for a new phone that costs £500, you could save £100 a month for five months, or £50 a month for 10 months.
Work out the balance of what you can afford and how quick you realistically want to save for.
If you rely on transferring the money manually to a savings account ‘when you have time to get around to it’, I guarantee you you’ll either overspend and talk yourself out of it, or will just put it off until ‘next month’.
I can tell you from experience, next month never comes until you plan properly and don’t allow for excuses.
Don’t do tomorrow, what you can do now. Set up a standing order for a regular payment to be transferred to your savings account on payday.
Psychologically, now, when you look at what is left for you to spend, you work out how to live off the amount with the savings already deducted and not the other way around.
Saving after you’ve spent never works. 1st rule for any saver is to save before you spend!
Get the Best Deal For Your Money
Shop around people! You have to give your savings the best chance to grow. Look around for a savings account with the highest possible interest.
Sometimes these days current accounts offer the best rate.
If, however, your goal is to save for a mortgage deposit, like me, then you may want to consider a Help To Buy ISA. They offer an interest rate and a government top up of 25% (to a maximum of £3,000) and can be ideal for someone looking to buy their first home.
- Short-term goals (no more than 5 years) you should be looking for products such as savings accounts, a cash ISA or a term deposit.
- Medium-term goal (between 5-10 years) try using a savings product, or maybe try investing – depending on how your appetite for risk is.
- Long-term goals consider investments like shares, bonds or funds that provide protection from inflation over the longer term.
What financial goals have you set? Did you reach them? How quick? I want to know everything…EVERYTHING! So do let me know.
He is also a contributor to Clear Debt, ICOUNT Money and M1 Debt Advice blogs discussing all things personal finance.