Monday, 14 February 2011 23:34
Saving money takes time and dedication especially if you are saving for something specific. So, how do you save with a goal in mind? Here are some simple steps to start with:
1) Write down your goal
It’s important to know exact amounts. Want to save for a vacation? Go online and price everything out. Don’t just say, “I want to save for a family trip to Disney,” make sure you know exactly what the cost is and write it down. Make sure to include everything you’ll need including food, gas, and even new clothes for the trip.
2) Visualize your goal
Put a picture of the item or trip you are saving for on your desktop or mirror at home. If you have some photo editing skills, put a picture up of your family next to Mickey. This will help you remember your goal and keep on track.
3) Establish a timeframe
You can do this one of two ways. You can say, “I want to go next Spring Break” and figure out how to save enough by then, or you can figure out how much you need to save and realistically how long it will take you to save that much.
4) Make a budget
Calculate how much from each pay period you’ll need to set aside to meet your goal. Make sure you don’t forget about your usual savings and try not to impact that too much - you still need that rainy day fund.
5) Set up a separate account
Most institutions offer a special savings account that you can save separately from your regular savings. Some even have restrictions on them so you aren’t tempted to “steal” from it. You can either transfer into it every week or change your direct deposit to automatically go straight to the new account.
6) Put off other purchases
When you are saving for something important, determine what other items can be put on hold. If your friends call you up for a short weekend getaway or you eye something at mall, remember your goal and that putting off instant gratification will be worth it in the end.