Create Your Own Money Saving Challenge

Written by , January 28, 2014

Create Your Own Money Saving ChallengeAs we are already one month into 2014, you’ll find no shortage of financial advice for how to start the New Year off right. A common theme in many of the articles you may see is saving; specifically, plans and strategies for accomplishing a particular savings goal in 2014.

While these money saving plans can be helpful, some individuals find that they fall short in sticking with the program. This may be due in part to a cookie-cutter savings plan not being a good fit for the individual’s particular circumstances. The best way over this hurdle is simply to come up with your own money-saving challenge.

Here is some banking advice to help you create your own money-saving challenge this year.

  • Identify a Target Savings Goal. When you build your own savings program around a specific financial goal that has meaning to you, you’re more likely to stick with it. For example, you might want to start a college fund for your young child, and you’ve calculated that saving $3,000 this year will be a great start. Having a firm number in mind, and a good reason behind it, makes it easier for you to develop an appropriate savings plan.
  • Choose a Saving Strategy That Fits Your Personality. Sticking with a money-saving challenge is easier if the saving schedule fits your personality. For example, if you’re the type that generally succeeds by starting slow and building over time, then a plan that requires you to save the same amount of money every week for a year might not work. Instead, you might wish to consider a saving challenge where you start by saving a single dollar in the first week of 2014, then increasing your weekly savings amount by dollar every week. (This will build up to you saving $52 in the last week of the year, and over the course of the year you will have saved almost $1,400.)
  • Tie Other Rewards Into Your 2014 Saving. While the financial security you’ll gain from saving should be its own reward, some people find that it’s easier to stick with a savings program if they tie in savings to other rewards. For example, some individuals find that the promise of an inexpensive indulgence for themselves (like an inexpensive lunch or dinner out) can often help them stick with a much larger savings challenge.
  • Reducing may be Easier than Eliminating. One common type of money-saving challenge is to give up a relatively inexpensive non-essential item that you now purchase frequently. For example, you might have heard of something called the “Latte Factor” – people having a savings challenge around no longer buying gourmet prepared coffee. But if you truly enjoy going out for coffee, you might find the prospect of eliminating it altogether to be too difficult. Instead, deliberately reduce the number of trips you make each week to the coffee shop – or maybe just go once every other week – and you’ll save money while still enjoying your time out.
  • Remember that the best money-saving goals you can set for yourself are often those that you’ll stick with. Seek to challenge yourself, but also make sure that your savings goals are realistic and achievable.

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