Long-term financial goals can feel daunting, and it is easy to get distracted by day to day living. Saving for large purchases, such as education, a car or even a house, can feel like an impossible mountain to climb, but we have put together some useful tips and ideas to help you set long-term financial goals and stick to them.
When we are struggling from pay cheque to pay cheque, and there isn’t much left over at the end of the month, setting up a saving plan may feel impossible, but there are ways to start saving toward your long-term goals that can help you achieve your aims.
The trick is little and often. Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Make it Easy to Save
Setting up a savings account that is linked to your current account. It might be easier to get into the saving habit if all it takes is a few clicks on your mobile, rather than having to go into a branch or physically pay in cash.
- How Much do You Need?
Decide how much you need to achieve your goal. Be realistic here. There might be a difference between what you would like to save and what is possible. If the figure is too high, you may lose motivation, on the other hand, it might be worth aiming a little higher than you are comfortable with. Think of how great you feel when you have achieved your goal.
- How Much Could You Save Per Day?
Instead of looking at the big picture, like how much you need to save per month, try thinking how much you could save per day. It may feel hard to save £100 or £200 a month, but it could be more manageable to think of saving £5 per day. Could you walk instead of the bus? Take a packed lunch to work? Cut out something small each day. If you manage to save £5 per day, over a year, you will have accumulated £1,825.
- How Long Will It Take?
If you are looking at starting a long-term saving goal, it is important to factor in breaks and rewards. For example, maybe treat yourself to something for every £500 saved or take a saving holiday for a couple of weeks per year. If you are changing your spending habits and managing to save anything at all, you are doing well and deserve the occasional treat.
Taking stock of your spending and working towards a goal can be very motivating and help keep you focussed on the big picture. Banking apps make it easy to move money around, and it is encouraging to see your savings grow.
When money is tight, it is easy to get despondent and think that things will never change, but starting a savings plan can help you to realise that you can be in control of your spending, your saving and your future. Small steps, little and often, are the key to a brighter future.