Do you keep missing your savings goals? 

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Financial Health
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Team MONEYME|14 March 2024| 4-minute read

Been planning on saving money for a long time, but never seem to get there? Saving money isn’t easy, especially when rents have been rising and living costs exploding.  

If despite your best efforts you keep missing your savings goals, it could be time to work out why – and how to start kicking them.  

Is there a bug in your budget? 

Drawing up a budget – and sticking to it – is the first step in saving. So, if you don’t have a budget, it’s time to prepare one. 

Budgeting can be daunting, but a good place to start is to track your spending. That way you can work out where your money is currently going and where you might be able to easily cut back. Then, work out your financial goals for the future. 

One of the most common pitfalls is budgeting unrealistically. For example, a decision to never buy takeaway coffee or meet friends for drinks is going to be hard to uphold.  

Instead, plan for both the essentials and for some fun. It’s important to reward yourself every now and again.  

If you’re new to budgeting the 50-30-20 rule is a popular budgeting method to start with. The rule states that you should spend 50% of your after-tax income on necessities (such as housing, utilities, groceries and transport), 30% on your wants and leisure (like holidays, shopping, hobbies), and 20% on savings and investments in the future. You can always tweak this to meet your needs and priorities.   

Are your feelings driving your spending?  

Money might look black and white, but the way we deal with it is often underpinned by our feelings.  

For example, you might splurge on a sale when you’re feeling down – or get high on the rush of spending big on pay day.  

If you’re not saving as you want to, try to figure out which emotions – conscious or subconscious – are triggering your behaviour. Once you’ve identified them, it might be easier to prevent them operating so powerfully.  

Do you tend to transfer an ambitious amount into your savings account on pay day, but then often have to transfer more than you’d like to back before the end of the pay cycle? It might be worth aiming for a more realistic amount to save each pay cycle – that way you get the emotional reward of hitting your goals, and you can gradually increase the amount. 

Can you cut down your costs? 

Once you’ve tracked your spending you might notice previous blind spots where you can easily cut down costs (like subscriptions you never use that you can cancel). But also take notice of where you’re spending the most – like bills or your home loan – and see if you can get a better deal. 

You might be surprised at how much you can save by shopping around. Comparison sites like Compare the Market let you compare energy plans, as well as home and contents insurance, health insurance and car insurance.  

Another way you could potentially save thousands is by refinancing your home loan. A comparison site like Oxygen Home Loans compares hundreds of loans for you. You can also check out our 5 top tips for saving on your home loan

Are you holding yourself accountable? 

It’s one thing to tell ourselves that we want to save, but another thing to stick to our plans.  

Enlisting some help to keep you accountable can be key to meeting your savings goals. For example, you might use a personal finance app, such as Frollo, which records how much you spend and allows you to set budgets, goals and track your progress.  

You could also set up direct debits into your savings account on pay day, so you can set and forget your saving contributions. Or consider a term deposit, which is an account that locks away your money for a set period with a high interest rate. Just be sure to read the fine print and budget to make sure you’ll manage without the money.   

You can also use the MONEYME app to check your credit score for free as often as you’d like, to help you keep an eye on your overall financial health.  

Are multiple debts holding you back? 

A loan can help you achieve an important goal – be it gaining a qualification or taking the holiday of a lifetime.  

But, having multiple debts can make saving difficult. You have to spend a lot of time and energy juggling repayment amounts and deadlines.  

One solution is to consolidate your debts. This means rolling them into a single loan. Once you’re done, you have only one repayment to make each month. Plus, you might get a lower interest rate and save on costs overall. Take a look at our debt consolidation checklist to see if it’s right for you. 

Reaping the rewards 

Changing your spending and saving habits can be challenging. But, the rewards are great.  

Instead of feeling like a slave to your finances, you can start to look forward to achieving long-term goals.  

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