Here we are, into the second month of the new year when we often see our ambitious resolutions begin to fade (or disappear altogether). 2020 proved to be a challenging year for many reasons and you may be finding yourself starting off 2021 with hope to stick to savings and financial goals that allow you to “get ahead.” And yet if you’re like most people, your motivation is already starting to diminish.
The reality is that people save money for all different reasons. Building your savings will benefit your future — either helping you make a future big purchase or helping you avoid hardships during a challenging time. Make your savings a priority and stay focused with these simple ways to achieve your savings goals this year.
Remember your money-saving goals.
- Identify your savings and financial goals, keep them documented and review these goals often. Be sure that your goals are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timebound — to make them more likely to be achieved.
- You might have both short-term and long-term goals in mind. Remember that these goals may take weeks, months or even years to accomplish.
- Keep your savings goals front and center. Want to go on a tropical vacation? Print out a beautiful beach photo and plaster it on your fridge, your bathroom mirror, in your car and anywhere else that helps you keep it top of mind. This will help you remember what you are saving for. Then, when the motivation to open the fridge and cook dinner fades and takeout is on your mind, you’ll have the enchanting beaches calling your name and helping you stay the course. Who knows, maybe the tropical photos will help you stay on track with your health goals, too.
- Lastly, continue to evaluate your finances to make sure your goals are within reach and realistic.
Create milestones that excite you.
- Establish small checkpoints. Some goals may seem out of reach, especially the larger long-term goals. Try setting realistic smaller savings milestones along the way to keep yourself motivated.
- Don’t be so intimidated by larger end goals that you choose to avoid saving altogether. Make your goals manageable and attainable. For example, instead of one long-term goal to save $1,000 in one year for emergency savings, consider shorter milestone goals such as saving $84 per month or $42 per bi-monthly paycheck.
- Keep yourself accountable and consider updating others about your savings goals progress in order to stay on track. Studies show that publicly committing a goal gives you a 65% chance of achieving it and having an accountability partner raises the chances to 95%!
Track your progress to stay focused.
- Find a system that keeps you motivated. If you’re a visual person you may find that seeing your milestones documented helps to keep you on track. Use a chart or draw a thermometer with money increments to track your progress.
- Consider using an app to help track your milestones and overall savings goal.
- Keep your visuals posted in an obvious place to see how far you’ve come and to help you stay focused. Don’t forget to celebrate milestone achievements along the way.
Re-evaluate frequently and adjust accordingly.
- Make sure your goals still make sense. Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate your savings goals if you find yourself completely unmotivated and if your goals no longer resonate with you.
Now is the time to stay focused on the year ahead. Use these simple money saving tips to help you achieve your savings goals with the intention of making this a financially sound year. Want more money saving tips to help you grow your savings account all year long? Check out more tips on our blog.