how to stick to your savings goals

How To Stick To Your Savings Goals

financial health goals Aug 23, 2021

What do you dream about doing if money wasn’t a factor? Would you buy your dream home? Take the vacation of a lifetime with family or friends?  Start your own business? Or just work less? Dreams are the best place to start when you’re making your financial plan and savings goals. The whole idea behind saving money, budgeting, and building wealth is so you can achieve those goals that matter most and build a life that makes you wake up with a smile on your face. 


The hard part is sticking to those goals day after day, even when life doesn’t look like the dream quite yet.


Sticking to Your Savings Goals


Sticking to your goals is tough work, which is why it’s so important to set yourself up for success. There are a few key ways to build the best foundation for reaching your financial goals. 


Create Positive Emotions


Emotions, which are created and managed by our brain, can have a big impact on the way we think and act, including financially. Creating positive emotions related to our goals will keep us emotionally invested in their outcomes. A vision board of your goals is a great tool that you can easily reference when motivation is down.


Prioritize Your Education


Money can be such a difficult topic to talk about, but it’s one of the most important to understand. We are expected to make huge financial decisions all the time like opening a credit card, buying a car or house, or pulling out a loan. The problem is few of us ever truly had the opportunity to learn about financial planning and concepts. Compound interest and the finer details of taxes weren’t typically part of school education or discussed at home. Now, you’re just supposed to have it figured out. It can feel overwhelming. Or worse, money is completely out of your control.


Start with what you can control - what you know. Make a point to start learning about financial concepts and work on building your financial literacy. Whatever your method, prioritize learning about money regularly. The more you know about how money works, the more confident and in control you’ll feel. Here are some ideas to get you started:


  • Personal finance blogs 
  • Books 
  • Audiobooks
  • Podcasts
  • Finance class
  • Online course
  • Self-directed research


Build Your Systems


The systems you build to support your savings goals are essential on your journey to financial freedom. The most important system you’ll build is your budget.


We’ve talked extensively about budgets and what they can do for you financially. It’s crucial to keep in mind that a budget isn’t made to torture you. Instead, a budget should help make room for the things you value most and cover everything you need. When you prioritize spending according to your values, it’s much easier to make the jump to saving according to your values. A value based budget is the best foundation for reaching your goals, and any savings goals should be incorporated into this budgeting system that’s tailored to your unique values and life. 


Find Your People

Who you choose to spend your time with may be the single most underrated factor when it comes to sticking to your goals long term. The people around you can be an encouraging force that constantly reminds you why you’re saving and gives you the support you need to keep working toward your goals, even when you feel like throwing in the towel. 


Do your friends support your goals toward financial independence, even if that means you can’t afford to go out to dinner or events as often as you used to? Do they judge if you don’t buy brand name? Do they think saving money is important? 


The phrase “you become who you hang around” can apply to your finances too. Are the people closest to you a positive money influence? If you continually find yourself struggling with money, your friends and family may have more of an effect on your financial mindset than you think. To be clear, a good influence doesn’t necessarily mean a millionaire or perfect saver. The key is to find people who support and encourage your healthy financial mindset and value building a healthy financial mindset themselves.


Consider a Professional


Not only is the company you keep essential to your money health, so is the professional advice you seek. A finance professional, therapist, or coach could be the most beneficial decision you make for your money, especially if you feel stuck in debt or unclear on how to move forward. Finding a professional who can shed new light on your finances and help you build a clear path forward may be the push you need to make your savings goals a reality. 


A professional’s job is to help you see the big picture and provide valuable insight and advice on how to reach your goals. That could be getting out of debt, starting a business, combining finances, or planning your path to financial independence or retirement. Calling in the professionals is a wise money move, so keep this option in mind as you continue on your financial journey.

Celebrate Your Goals


Finally, the most important (and most fun) part of sticking to your goals is making sure you take time to celebrate them. Setting up smaller milestone goals on the way to your larger goals is a great way to build motivation and take time to recognize your savvy savings habit. Not to mention your money accomplishments and growing bank account balance. 


Saving money is all about building a life with more financial freedom, flexibility, and the ability to choose what a meaningful life looks like to you. Goals are how you get there. Breaking down big goals into smaller milestone goals along the way helps you keep these wonderful benefits front and center in your mind. Every time you hit a goal, you’ll be reinforcing your savings habits and seeing the fruits of your hard work reflected in your savings account. 


You can also set rewards for hitting milestones, like a pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on or tickets to a big concert, which starts to give you more financial freedom, flexibility and choice as you build toward bigger and bigger goals. As your goals get bigger, so do the benefits, both financially and emotionally. As your goals and savings increase, so does your financial freedom and ability to build the life you value most.


If you would like to work on your goals, reach out for a free 20 minute consultation to see how I can best support you or consider taking my Financially Healthy Couples Program (even applies to individuals) to help you set and achieve your goals. 


Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels

Questions: email [email protected]

Mariah Hudler, MSW, MBA, CFT-I™ is a therapeutically informed financial wealth & wellbeing coach. She works with individuals, couples, families, entrepreneurs, groups, and organizations to make Wealth & Wellbeing a joyful part of life.

Disclaimer: This blog is for education only. Please consult with a qualified professional when you have any questions about your personal financial, tax, or legal situation. Information contained in this post is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace professional advice.

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