Raysha Duncan, Financial Aid Administrator
A lot of us have something we really want, but just can’t afford. Typically, we have to save money for these things. Whether it’s a study abroad trip, a wedding, a bigger and better computer, or even a house, your big savings goal is a BIG GOAL for you. It’s really important to keep these big savings goals in mind when creating your budget (and organizing your life in general).This way, your money is helping you work towards your goal, rather than holding you back. The money you earn isn’t really working in your favor if you aren’t spending it wisely.
What do you want most? Are you willing to work for it?
If not, then you don’t really want it. If you are, keep on reading! You’ve got a goal to save for!
How much of your monthly income can you save?
Pull out that budget you have and take a good hard look at your current savings rate, where you’re spending money, and where you’re wasting it. More than likely, you have enough room in your budget to save something, but you may have to reconsider where your money is going. It is important to set at least some money aside each month to achieve your savings goals.
Make your goal visual
Putting money into savings can be so hard, especially for those of us who can feel it burning a hole in our pockets. This is where visuals might be helpful. Get a cork board and pin up pictures of what you’ve saved for as you go. Once you’ve saved enough for a big piece of your goal (plane tickets, for example) draw up or print off a picture of that piece and put it on your board. This can help you keep your eyes on the prize and see what you’re working towards as you save, instead of just watching a number in your bank account slowly increase.
Determine your timeframe for saving
This needs to be realistic. As a student, you can’t afford a study abroad trip in a week or save for a house in a month (unless you’re totally loaded, in which case…this blog probably isn’t for you!). Let’s say you decide today that it’s really important for you to study abroad and you have 2 years left until you graduate. Your timeframe would be less than two years to save for that goal – which is pretty realistic! Your timeframe needs to line up with what you’re actually able to save every month. If it doesn’t, then maybe you need to re-evaluate your goal and your expectations.
Tips on how to save
-Keep a small visual of your goal handy (the background on your phone, a picture on your fridge, a sticky note of how close you’re getting to your savings goal on your computer screen).
-Save your change! Holding on to those pesky nickels and dimes could really add up!
-Track your savings via an app on your phone or with a countdown, whatever works for you.
-“Treat yourself” by putting money towards your goal.
Do you have a big savings goal? How do you save towards it?