3 Tips to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Savings Goal

Savings goalIt can be hard to stay motivated to reach a savings goal. All it takes is one or two bad days and your entire savings plan can be thrown off track. There are so many impulse buys offering instant gratification that it can be hard to stay on track. It’s also human nature to seek short-term gratification over long-term benefits.

Fortunately, strategies exist to help. If you are serious about reaching your savings goal, here are 3 tips to help you stay motivated.

Know Your Goal

If you have a specific savings goal you are trying to reach, it makes a lot easier to stay motivated. If you are just trying to ‘save more,’ you can fall off track quickly. So pick a number that you think you can reach and whenever you are tempted to overspend, remind yourself of what you want and why.

Make Today Matter

It’s important to focus on small steps you can take every day to make your savings plan concrete. Whether it is forgoing a coffee, buying store brand items at the grocery store or bringing your own lunch to the office, these daily actions provide the foundation that you can build off of.

Give Yourself Breathing Room

When you are creating a plan to help you save more and finding an ideal goal to work towards, it can be tempting to try and save as much as possible. But by doing so, you are only setting yourself up for failure. You need to give yourself for some financial breathing room because sometimes it is worth spending today.

If you want more help reaching your saving goals, see how to save on meats at the supermarket.

Have you heard the old saying, “You don’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been”? If so, then maybe you’ll relate to the picture we think of when we talk about creating a monthly budget. After all, if you don’t know where you’re already spending your money, you don’t really know how you can prepare to save money in the future. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you along the way: • Don’t Be Afraid of Your Numbers. Sure, debt can be scary. And even scarier can be the math that results from adding up all of your debt and trying to figure out how to pay it. Don’t be afraid! The sooner you’re willing to own up to your numbers, the sooner you can put a plan into place to help you better manage the bills that are coming into your household. When you start creating a monthly budget, use a simple pen and paper to write down what you think you’re spending. This will give you a great outline to build from. • Utilize Online Banking. Even if you’re not comfortable paying your bills through online bill pay, online banking can be a great resource to help you reconcile your expenditures. Go online daily to see what’s cleared and what’s pending. Keep in mind that any checks that you’ve written, gratuities at restaurants, and payments at gas pumps are not always going to be accurately reflected in this total. You should use…

The last thing you need is to be the victim of a robbery while on vacation or a business trip. This is especially true when all the cash you have disappears along with your credit cards. Fortunately, learning how to keep cash safe is not as hard as some people think. Here are some strategies for you to consider. Thin Out the Wallet Before you leave home, go through your wallet and take out anything you don’t need. This includes credit cards that you have no intention of using. Put them in a secure place at home where a loved one can reach them if you do need help. If you are the victim of a robbery, the thief will not get everything and your loved one can express ship a card and some cash to help you get home.

Credit card debt was projected to total $900 billion by the end of 2015, with the average US household owing at least $7,813. Having access to credit makes it very easy to pay with a credit card for goods and services, but there are plenty of situations when paying by credit card is really not a wise option. Reasons Not to Pay by Credit Card One major reason to be wary of paying with credit cards is when shopping online at unfamiliar sites and retailers. Giving credit card details online can be a security risk leading to theft of credit card details and personal information. You should always check the online security of any websites prior to making online payments. 

Are you starting to feel as if your spending is out of control? Maybe you need to put yourself on a spending diet. Here’s a flexible and effective spending diet that can help put your spending back on track. A spending diet is not like a New Year’s resolution that you stop sticking to after a few short months. The diet is a way for you to start fresh and to take responsibility for how you spend your money. It is never a good idea to use your credit card thinking that you can pay for it later, and then take from your savings to do so. But it is possible to change these habits if you pay careful attention to how you spend.

Choosing a used car over a brand new vehicle comes with a wide range of advantages. Apart from typically being more affordable, used cars tend to preserve their value over a longer period of time. But in order to buy the best used car that fits your need and your budget, research is crucial. Here are five essential tips for buying a used car.  Determine Your Budget Setting a strict budget cap is the first thing to do. The step will keep you from going overboard and it will also limit the number of available options. Also, if the car you have your eye on is out of warranty, you may want to set aside an extra emergency fund that can be used for unexpected car repairs as well as necessary maintenance. Research Now that you have your budget, it’s time to research models. Every model has its benefits and shortcomings. Do you want a small automobile? Do you want a bigger vehicle that can carry a lot of weight? Is ease of parking a main concern? Do you want an economic vehicle that uses small amounts of fuel? Do a bit of research based on your list of priorities and narrow it down to a couple of models that are reliable and within your budget. Check the Vehicle and Its History When going to inspect vehicles, it’s a good idea to bring someone along who knows what to look at. Getting a Vehicle History Report is another essential step. This…

Your credit score is a number that most lenders use in order to determine your credit worthiness. If you are considering applying for a home loan, an auto loan, a credit card or personal loan, your credit score can play a massive role in the interest rates you are offered, the loan terms available and even whether or not you are approved. Additionally, your credit score can have an effect on other aspects of your life as well. Most landlords check your credit score when you apply for a lease or rental agreement, and many insurance companies and employers review your credit score these days when you apply with them as well. Because of the impact that your credit score has on a variety of life situations, it is critical that you understand how your credit score is determined, and the factors that can affect it. Understanding your Credit Score Understanding your credit score is an important step in being able to maintain a good credit rating. While your credit score is determined by your credit history, there are numerous factors that are combined to make up your credit score. • Your Total Debt and Debt to Income Ratios • Types of Credit Accounts • The Number of Late Payments • The Number of Past Due Accounts • The Age of Credit Accounts • Collections and Public Records • Recent Credit Inquiries It is important to remember that not all factors will affect your credit score equally. A high number…

Birthday gifts are a great way to show someone special in your life how much you care. However, you don’t always want to derail your budget to do so. That’s why sometimes you need inexpensive birthday gift ideas. You can demonstrate your affection for them while also keeping your savings goal in check. So see our list of 3 inexpensive birthday gift ideas. Make a photo collage The world is awash in the photos of your friends and family because of social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. So if you are looking for inexpensive birthday gift ideas, why not make a photo collage that represents your friend. You can go on their account, download the photos you want, and put them all together according to a theme. It’s a thoughtful and budget-friendly gift option. Make a print of their favorite quote If you’ve got someone your shopping for that loves inspiring quotes, this is a great option. Pick a quote and get it lettered on an 8.5 x 11 print and have it framed for their wall. It will serve as a reminder of your friendship for years to come. Offer a dinner party for two (or more!) Offering your services as a chef for a dinner for your friend (or more people!) at their apartment is another great option. Everybody wins as you and your friend get to spend time together and you both get a delicious home cooked meal. Even if you aren’t an expert chef, there…

For the first time last spring, Americans spent more money eating out than we did buying groceries. With the average meal costing $12.50 per person, that can ruin a budget pretty quickly. Make ahead meals can be just as convenient and that same $12.50 often feeds the entire family. This can free up a surprising amount of money in your budget, even if you eat just a few more meals at home. How make ahead meals help you save­­­ Not only are make ahead meals cheaper, but you can make food the way your family likes it. No spending money on extra cheese for a frozen pizza or wasting money throwing out food because no one likes it. Taking advantage of sales and bulk pricing can save more money and you won’t be tempted to make impulse purchases during those extra trips to the store. With a make ahead meal, you’re shifting the time you spend on meal prep to fit your schedule. You might not have time to make dinner every night, but you may have time on the weekend to make one or two meals ahead of time. If your meal is ready to go, you won’t need to hit the drive thru. Getting started Some people do a huge grocery shopping trip and cook all the next day. But that’s not practical for everyone, so you might want to try one of these methods to start small. Double a recipe – Make an extra one and put…

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