Bank accounts are great for short-term money savings. But, it’s important that bank accounts aren’t used for long-term savings. If you have savings for a long-term goal, which is 5+ years, then you need to use a long-term savings vehicle.
If you’re saving for long-term needs, you need to have a short-term account too. This is because if you have a long-term goal, you need to make sure you have little goals or rewards along the way.
Imagine saving for a house – it’s going to take a while. It’s almost impossible to save at a decent level without making sure you keep motivated along the way. You need to put in weekends away with the girls, holidays or even meals out to keep you going on the savings goal. If you don’t, most people hit a point where they dive into their savings, blow a big whack of money, and then fall further behind.
To keep you on the savings straight and narrow, here are my top tips:
Save as soon as you get paid. Don’t restrict yourself for the month and save what’s left over – that’s horrible!
Have identifiable goals. Divide your money into each pot and use tools like the wallets system.
Short-term goal – short-term savings vehicle.
Long-term goal – long-term vehicle.
Have rewards along the way – saving for something in the distant future will take patience, motivation and discipline and quite frankly is boring. Reward yourself along the way with weekends away, nights out and other niceties and you are much more likely to succeed.
Name your goals with names that mean something to you.
If you are one part of a couple, agree together as to what your goals are. “No we can’t go out tonight” is much less likely to become a row if it is phrased as “we can go out if you want but it will mean we can’t go on the weekend away next weekend because that is where we will have to take the money from”.
Remember, it’s your money – you work hard for it. You deserve to spend it on whatever you want. But don’t do something today that creates problems tomorrow. Sort tomorrow out first, then really, really, really enjoy today.
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