Instead of spending on something you can enjoy in the moment; you’re putting your money out of sight—which can also mean out of mind. It’s easy to lose motivation if you forget what you’re saving for or don’t create a plan to stay focused on saving money. Wondering how to get serious about saving money? Use these seven tips for how to stay focused on saving money and achieving your long-term money goals.
- Establish your financial goals. What are you saving for? When you can picture a specific goal—whether a dream vacation or a new home—you are more likely to curb your spending than save for something more nebulous, like “the future.”
- Create a budget. You will feel more engaged with the savings process when you see where your money goes each month and how much you can save. Plus, you may discover new ways to cut expenses by writing monthly costs down, such as dropping excess video streaming subscriptions.
- Keep your savings accounts in order. Figure out where to put the money you save, which makes it easier to track your progress and see your gains. For example, you may deposit most of your money in a savings account that doubles as an emergency fund and send a smaller portion to your vacation account.
- Create short-term milestones. Achieving something makes you feel good and boosts your motivation. You want to get that feeling of accomplishment again. Set goals you can reach in just a few months, such as meeting a specific dollar goal or not eating out for a month.
- Use personal finance tools to make things easier. You can set up digital banking to automate your savings, moving money automatically to monthly savings. It makes savings effortless, even during busy times.
- Find an accountability buddy. Have you ever met a friend to exercise? Your commitment doubles as an insurance policy: even if you feel tired, you show up because you don’t want to let your friend down. You can use the same approach to saving money. Tell your buddy your goals and set a weekly check-in time to hold each other accountable.
- Reevaluate your goals as needed. Goals are like the jeans you wore in high school—they’re not going to fit forever. Every six months, review your goals and decide if you still want to achieve them. Adjust your plans accordingly. For instance, if your child gets engaged, saving for their upcoming wedding may replace saving for home improvements as your top priority.
- Avoid impulse buys. Shopping feeling emotional and hungry can lead to splurging on items you don’t need. Give yourself time to consider your decisions before saying “yes” to spending. For example, allow 30-45 minutes before agreeing to costly plans, 24 hours before making a small- to medium-sized purchase and 30 days before making a big purchase. That time allows you to compare prices and decide if you truly want the item.
- Set aside money to treat yourself. It can get tiring if you never do anything for yourself, so make sure to add some “fun money” into your budget. This will help prevent budget burnout too. Do you want a new piece of furniture to brighten up your space or a mini getaway (quick savings vacation tips here)? Save up for them. Achieving those smaller savings goals along your larger savings journey will feel rewarding and give you motivation to save money as you go along.
Download our free 3-Month Savings Challenge Tracker to help you on your savings journey.
Getting the most out of your savings can also keep you motivated. Choose savings accounts that meet your needs, such as club accounts, to save for holiday shopping and to hone your savings strategy. Our digital banking tools make it easy to get serious about saving money. You can track your accounts no matter where you are—even on that dream vacation you saved up for!