Different people can have different philosophies on money. Some people prioritize spending and enjoying their money now, while others may save as much as they can for the future. Neither philosophy has a specific goal in mind, but that can mean the difference between frivolous spending and self-deprivation. Here’s how you can save for a goal and have some direction with your finances.
Create a Budget for Your Goal
First of all, the best thing you can do to manage your money is create a budget. This will show you exactly how much money you’re bringing in, and how much you’re spending. You can do this based on one month of work and living expenses. To make it easier, we’ve provided this worksheet. All you need to do is fill in the numbers. Download the Free Household Budgeting Worksheet to get started.
Determine Your Goal
Now you need a specific goal to work towards. If you don’t have something in mind, it can be easy to fall into either of these extremes: self-deprivation or frivolous spending. If you don’t have a goal, it can be easy to justify spending your money on things like electronics, restaurants, vacations, etc. On the other hand, you may go in the other direction and save so much money that you deprive yourself of basic needs, or even a luxury purchase now and then. When you have a goal, you can operate under rules that you have set for yourself so there will be no difficulty in determining what you can afford to spend and what you need to save.
- Automatic deposits from you paycheck into your savings account
- Comparison shopping
- Coupons and coupon codes for regular purchases
- Side jobs to earn extra income
- Sell items you no longer need to earn extra money
- Use your budget to identify areas where you can spend less
- STICK TO YOUR BUDGET!
Saving for a Goal Calculator
Saving for a goal really requires discipline and perseverance. To help you paint a picture of how much you need to save on a weekly or monthly basis, check out ACCC’s free Saving For a Goal Calculator. Just punch in the amount you want to save, how much you can put away each week/month, and the caclulator will tell you how long it will take. You can make adjustments as needed.