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Goal setting: How to become a better saver

In a world where our bills are never going down, where our financial responsibilities are always on the high, it isn't surprising to see people struggle with saving money. Many have tried and failed; many have started the year saving, only to find themselves nowhere near their target at the end of the year. So, does that mean it is impossible to save or reach a savings goal? Well, absolutely not! Saving money is, indeed difficult, but it isn't impossible; you only need to have the right strategy to make it work. In this light, we will now intimate you with some tested and proven strategies which will help transform you into a savvy saver. Do enjoy the post!

Creating a visual reminder of your goal

Saving is no abstract idea, and for every individual, there is always a target – a goal for which you are aiming at. Therefore, the first step to reaching your saving goal is to create a visual reminder of what you’re saving up for. Strange as it may sound, but this strategy has helped many successful savers over the years. Simply relying on your willpower isn't always enough when it comes to saving, which means you need something to act as a reminder and motivation. For some people, the goal for saving could be to make a big purchase at the end of the year, while for some it could be an attempt to meet their monthly debt payments so as to prevent bailiffs from knocking on their door. If your goal is the former, then, have your screensaver be a picture of what you’d love to buy; if your goal is the latter, you can put up a sticker to remind you in a corner in your room. Irrespective of what your reasons for saving might be, the first step in the right direction is to create a visual reminder.

Seek weekly savings goals

Have a savings goal? The second step in the right direction is to choose to activate a weekly savings goal. Sometimes, in order to reach a bigger target, one needs to start small. The big number could seem intimidating, but when you break it down into small bits, you will realize how easy it is to save up. Instead of waiting until the month-end to save a large chunk of $1000, you can break it down into a weekly saving of $250.

Track and Review your money

The third step is the act of money tracking. If you want to reach your savings goal, then, you need to start reviewing how you spend your every dollar. Sometimes, spending money without keeping track of it can result in overspending, which might prevent you from saving as much as you would like to save. But if you are able to keep track of what comes in and what goes out, it will be much easier for you to set a savings target (which could be daily, weekly or monthly). The act of tracking cash flow can also help you in terms of your other expenses, like daily purchase, and bills, like taxes. When you don't keep a good track of our cash flow, not only will you not be able to reach your savings goal, but you will also run the risk of missing out on regular payments, which could result in debt, like council tax debts, in the case of taxes for instance.

Make savings a game

Another wonderful step that can help you reach your goal is to gamify things. Despite the fact that saving is absolutely no fun thing to do, one can still make it fun anyway. For starters, you can create a daily or a weekly money challenge for a month. For example, you can start with a zero-day challenge, where you select a day of the week in which your net-spend = zero; that is, you simply save every dollar you are supposed to spend on things you would have otherwise bought. Another challenge could be a $20 challenge, where your net-spend for the day wouldn’t exceed $20. By and large, you will be limiting your expenses in order to channel the money into your savings account.

Automate savings

The final step, which is the most crucial one, is the method of scheduling and automated savings. If you are a salary earner, you can create an automated account with your bank, whereby they automatically deduct a set amount from your monthly income. If you don’t receive paychecks, there is still a way out. All you need do is set an average amount to be automatically deducted from any money that comes into your account.

Conclusively, saving money is no child’s play, and as such, one simply needs to be disciplined and dedicated if you want to reach your goal.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

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