Saving money just for the fun of it is not something that most people, if anyone at all, wants to do. The fun comes in spending money, not in saving it, right? Even if you are doing it for something that you really desire, saving can become challenging, and often the boredom breaks your determination to save.
So, with that in mind, we thought that you could do with some tips to keep you on your savings track. Here are a few to keep you inspired to save:
You should have a goal for your saving, and that goal should be SMART. Here’s what we mean.
- S – Specific. Be clear about the thing you are saving for.
- M – Measurable. Measure your progress. How much do you want to save per week, month, and year?
- A – Achievable. Make sure your saving goal is achievable. You can’t save £2,000 per week if your monthly salary is only that amount.
- R – Realistic. Be able to view your saving goal as relevant and realistic to your present situation.
- T – Timely. Set a time frame for achieving your saving goal, and keep your focus on your goal.
Having SMART saving goals will keep you from becoming distracted and losing motivation. Read on for some SMART tips to help maintain the focus on your saving goal.
1. Set a clear goal
Having a clear goal for your saving will help you reach it. A good example is a set amount of money (e.g. £10,000), whereas a less good goal would be to “have more money.” It is much easier to measure something clearly defined, but abstract goals are challenging, often impossible to measure, or to know when you’ve achieved them. Having clear goals for your savings will help you stay motivated and on track.
2. Visualise yourself achieving your goal
Another way to maintain motivation for your saving is to visualise yourself in possession of the amount of money you want to save. What will this money look like in your bank account? How are you going to spend your savings once you’ve achieved your goal? Ask yourself these types of questions, and enjoy the images that come to mind when visualising the achievement of your saving goal
3. Set milestones towards achieving your saving goal
These milestones can be relatively straightforward for your savings target. You can divide your target saving goal by the number of weeks or months you have given yourself to achieve it. This figure will provide you with the amount you need to save every week or month, which becomes your milestones towards your goal. These milestones will keep you on track and maintain your motivation for achieving your goal.
4. Treat yourself along the way
As we said at the start, nobody saves for the fun of it. It is vital to give yourself the odd treat or two along the way to stop yourself from losing motivation and giving up on your goal. Nothing too fancy, you are trying to save money after all, but you deserve a reward for your dedication and effort.
5. Visualise your progress
Having a visual reference of your progress will focus your mind on achieving your goal. This reference can be in the form of a list, a pie chart, or some other map type. Whenever you reach one of your milestones, you can mark it off on your chart, giving yourself a boost as you see your goal getting closer.
6. Re-evaluate your goals
Having a realistic goal is essential, and if your circumstances change, be prepared to re-evaluate your goal. For instance, the money you are saving may be to buy a new car. Perhaps your priorities change and you want to use the money as a deposit on a new home. You may need to save more and for longer. This is fine, and your goal can still remain SMART.
7. Set yourself mini-challenges
Setting yourself mini-challenges can help you achieve your saving goal. Try giving up your favourite food, not buying any new clothes, or forgoing your morning coffee for a month. Less gratuitous spending means more considerable savings.
8. Seek inspiration from others
Check out some financial blogs or money-saving websites. You will pick up some great tips on how to save as well as information on great deals and discounts.
Whatever your saving goal is, hopefully, these tips will help you achieve it. Remember, be motivated, stick at it, and stay SMART.