Most people find it easier to save if there’s a tangible goal in mind. For example, you may be more motivated to make sacrifices to your spending if your goal is ‘save $5,000 by April 2019 for my European adventure’ rather than ‘save for a holiday’.
So, your first step towards savings success may be to clearly define your savings goal. You might have a couple of different things you’re saving for. That’s OK. And pretty common. Most people have holidays, houses and things like the kids’ education on their radars. You can work out how much you need to save for each of these things, and by when.
It can help to open up separate savings accounts for each of your different goals. By splitting up your goals, it’s easier to keep track of them.
Sometimes, you need a little extra motivation to kick-start your savings. If you have a partner who shares your savings goal, great. If you’re in it together, you’ll keep each other on track. Or, you could get together with mates who are trying to save for similar things and have a collective pep-talk about your goals.
You could also go social with your goals. Let it be known on all your social accounts what you’re saving for. The digital village can be great at encouraging you to stay on track.
If you find yourself falling off the savings wagon – and, let’s face it, we all have blips from time to time – then try find ways to boost your motivation to save. So, if you’re saving for that big European holiday, then you could throw a (cheap) movie night at home. Rent a movie set on the coast of Italy, serve (cheap) Prosecco and slices of prosciutto and provolone cheese. In other words, remind yourself of all the things you’re looking forward to on the trip.
Or, if you’re saving for a house deposit, you could spend a weekend going to home opens. Binge on back episodes of home improvement shows. Go to the library and borrow a pile of home magazines. Think back to why you started saving in the first place: ‘That’s right, I’m in my late twenties and it’s time to move out from the folks.’