Setting Savings Goals In 2016 – Start Small, End Big!
We all have something we want, but just don’t have the money to buy outright, so we need to save up our money for it. Whether it is a 52 inch flat screen television or the latest iPhone, we all want something that really doesn’t fit into our regular budget. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ever have such a thing or settle for something less than what we want, but it does mean even though most of us want everything “right now!,” we are going to have to make a plan and set a goal for when we will have the money to buy the item we want.
Hopefully, we have all learned how to create and stick to a reasonable budget, a budget which should include putting money into savings on a regular basis. Now, I realize you are thinking that means if you have been doing this for a while, you should have the money to buy that special item outright. But that would leave you with no savings left, and remember, having money in savings is also in case of unforeseen emergencies. So you don’t want to use that all up for whatever it is you want. Instead, you need to figure out where you might be able to cut a little extra out of your weekly or monthly expenses to put aside for that special item.
This is one time when taking advantage of available overtime at work comes in handy. While normally, you should just put that overtime pay in savings, when there is something special you want to buy, using overtime pay or a bonus as part of the way you pay for it is one of those “exceptions” to the rule of trying to always save your overtime and bonuses. In fact, for some people, they always put overtime and bonuses aside from savings for “special” things like vacation, holiday travel or gifts. There are as many ways to create a budget and save money as there are people on the planet, the trick is to find a way that works for you and that you can stick to.
So, we have already decided to take advantage of available overtime or bonuses to put towards our desired luxury item, but where else can you save a little extra money to buy the item? It all depends on how long you are willing to wait and how much you are willing to give up. Some people might give up eating out and gourmet coffee for as long as it takes to get what they want, others aren’t willing to go quite that far. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle. Look at your budget that you have created, where you already cut some items out so you can avoid living paycheck to paycheck. How soon do you want this item and how much does it cost?
Since you already know you need to save or the item you want, think if there are times during the year where it might go on sale (like Black Friday, Memorial Day, etc.) and see if one of those holidays fits in with your timeline. How far away is that? A month, two, six? Hopefully, one of the really big holiday sales fits within your timeline. Now look at the “regular” price of the item and divide the cost by your timeline, using weeks or months, depending on how you get paid, or are planning to work your saving for the item. The result will tell you how much you need to put away each planned time (week, month, etc.) to reach your goal in the time frame you set. Is it realistic? Can you look at your budget and see ways that you can save a little extra here and there to make your deadline? If you really want the item, you will instantly see things you can give up just for that period of time so you can save what you need. Then once your deadline comes and you have saved up enough to get your new television or the latest phone, I can almost guarantee you will start thinking of the next thing you intend to save up for, feeling so good with the reward you wanted reached.