So, you have a goal in mind, but now what? Well, there are two important things want to define: how much you’ll need to save and by when.
First, you should figure out exactly how much your goal will cost. Do as much research as possible and make sure to think about all the hidden costs that might come up. For instance, if you are saving for a wedding, the cost that might easily come to mind are the venue, the flowers, food, photographer, etc. But you might not think to save for the marriage license fees or the officiant. Doing your research and figuring out all the hidden costs will ensure you are able to save enough and aren’t faced with surprises as you approach your goal.
Once you’ve calculated the full amount needed, you’ll want to set a timeline to reach your savings goal. If your goal has a set deadline, it’ll be easier to figure out your timeline. For example, if you have a wedding date picked out or you know your family goes on vacation every August; you’ll know when exactly you’ll need to meet your savings goal and can set milestones based on that.
On the other hand, if your goal is a bit more flexible and the win isn’t as important, you might choose to base your timeline off of what you can afford to save each month.
Once you’ve set a timeline, work your goal into your budget to help you determine if it is achievable with all of your other monthly commitments and payments. By creating a plan for your goal, you’ll be able to track your progress along the way and watch your savings grow.
If you find yourself a little off track, you can make adjustments to match what is realistic for you.
Finally, don’t forget to celebrate the savings milestones along the way! This will keep you motivated and on the right path.