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Setting realistic savings goals

Whether you’re saving for a holiday, a house or retirement, setting a goal can help you reach your target faster. We’ve got some tips to help.

Stay focused on your goals

It takes a fair bit of motivation to save money from your income regularly. So help yourself out by writing down your goals somewhere you’ll see them often. It could be in a notes app on your phone or some sticky notes on your fridge. We’ll talk about some ways you can keep track of your progress shortly.

Make sure your goals are realistic for the amount of money you have left over after essential spending – don’t set yourself up to fail from the beginning. Remind yourself how great it’s going to feel when you reach those goals – whether you’ll be paying off a credit card, sunning yourself somewhere exotic, living in your own home or pulling away from the lights in the car you’ve always wanted. And if your goal seems difficult to reach, try our next tip.

Set simple milestones

Saving up enough money for a house deposit or large purchase could be easier if you break it up into a series of smaller targets. Think of them as milestones on the way to your goal.

You can do this by creating a chart you fill in with the goal broken down into monthly or quarterly targets. You could even draw a simple picture, or find a photo, of the thing you’re saving for, and add your milestones alongside. Ticking off each milestone will help keep you motivated without feeling overwhelmed by a big number that seems out of reach. Try taking a look at some apps that let you track your savings goals.

Treat yourself to stay motivated

Saving up for something usually means cutting back your spending on non-essentials – the stuff that you enjoy. While you want to stay disciplined, it’s important to have some fun and treat yourself for sticking to your savings plan .

It’s much better to acknowledge that you need some leisure time now and then – and to enjoy yourself. It’s all about keeping a good balance between your everyday life and your goals.

Ask a friend to keep you on track

If you sometimes struggle to keep to your savings plan, you can always ask someone you trust to help keep you focused. It could be as simple as getting your friend to ask you how much you’ve saved once per month, or just whenever you get together. You could even challenge each other and make it a race to see who can reach their goals or milestones first.

Whatever you do, make it fun – it shouldn’t feel like anyone’s checking up on you. The Money Advice Service has some tips on sharing goals and talking to friends about money

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