Starting a new year always feels exciting – so much is possible!
However you feel about setting new year goals and resolutions, there’s no denying the sense of a ‘fresh start’ that a new year brings – so we say, why not harness that?!
If you’re looking ahead across 2023 and popping some big plans on your goal list – whether buying your first car, travelling, moving out, or heading off to uni – there’s one thing that’s going to underpin a lot of it: money.
Setting yourself up for financial success starts with knowing how to get savvy with your savings.
Why You Should Have a Savings Goal
It’s generally a good idea to have a savings pot ready for a rainy day, but savings can also help you get smart with your finances overall.
By setting a savings goal for something specific, you’ll allow yourself to:
- Stay clear-minded and motivated about the outcome you want from your savings.
- Gain clarity over what’s coming in and going out.
- Understand where you’re spending your money.
- Understand the areas to improve to achieve your goal and save more.
Savings goals also help you to really understand how much something might cost and plan effectively to break down saving a set amount per week or month to achieve your goal by a set date.
4 Ways to Get Savvy With Your Savings
Getting started with your savings is first and foremost about understanding where your money is coming from, how much you’re spending (and possibly wasting!) and getting more intentional with your spending habits.
Below are four easy-to-action tips to help you well on your way to doing this:
1. PICK ONE GOAL TO START WITH
It’s natural to have lots of grand plans for the year ahead – but trying to do too many things all at once is usually a quickfire recipe for disaster.
Write out your goals and things you want to achieve with your money this year, and then prioritise them. Pick the number one priority and focus on saving for that first.
For example, if you know you’ll be sitting your driving test at some point this year, you might prioritise savings for your first car, insurance and other driving-related costs. Work out what those are and prioritise these as your primary savings goal.
2. MAKE A BUDGET
Once you know the goal you want to work towards and the final amount you’ll need, you need to figure out a budget that allows you to put money aside towards your savings goal.
You need to know your overall incoming and outgoings to do this successfully.
Check through your accounts and determine:
- What you need to spend each month (e.g. travel card funds, lunch money, subscriptions, phone bill, etc.).
- Where you’re spending money unnecessarily (do you need to Uber lunch, or could you make something at home?)
- Plot out what you have coming in and what’s left after you pay everything you need to.
3. TRACK YOUR SPENDING
List what you spend your money on in a typical week. Are you earning more than you’re spending? It sounds simple, but you need to spend less than you’re earning to save!
It’s essential to be honest here and not bury your head in the sand – this will ultimately help you identify spending behaviours that don’t aid your savings goals so you can change them for success.
Work through the list of what you’re spending and determine what are ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ – which ‘wants’ could you put on hold for now, and how much will this add to your savings in a week or month?
You might be surprised!
4. OPEN A DEDICATED SAVINGS ACCOUNT
Once you’re clear on what’s happening with your money and where everything is going, it’s a great idea to open a separate savings account to which you can start adding your funds.
A separate account allows you to track where you are towards your goal, and it can be highly motivating when you see the total figure keep going up!
Do a little research, as some savings accounts offer bonus interest when you don’t withdraw from the account throughout the month. An account that doesn’t have a transaction card is also a good idea as it can reduce temptations to spend your hard-earned savings!
Want to Learn More?
This nifty tool will help nut down your goal and work out what you need to save per month to reach your total amount by your target deadline – super helpful!
What are you saving for this year? Got any tips you can share to help your peers? Let us know in the comments!