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Tips to stay on track with your savings goals

Dad teaching daughter about money

It can be difficult to consistently stay on track when you’re saving for a long term goal, whether it’s to buy a home, pay for your child’s education or save for your retirement. There will always be temptation to spend that money now instead of putting it in your savings. Here are some strategies to help you meet your savings goals. 

Set Milestones

Having a huge savings goal, such as the amount required for a down payment or for your retirement can be daunting, which makes it more difficult to stay on the course. Instead, try breaking it down into smaller goals. For instance, if you need to save $30,000 for your down payment, take a look at the time frame you wish to save that money over. It will feel a lot more manageable to tell yourself that you will be putting $300 a month towards your down payment rather than simply setting the final savings goal.

Plus, with smaller milestones, you get the feeling of satisfaction of meeting a financial savings goal every time you make a contribution to your savings! 

Name your Savings Account

Naming your savings account is a great way to stay on track with your savings goals. This will make you think twice before raiding the account for another reason.

Regularly Look at your Goals

Sometimes over time, your savings goals change, and that’s OK! Make it a habit to look at your finances regularly and determine if your savings strategy is still right for your life circumstances or if you should be making some new goals. For instance, if you have decided to delay buying a home for a few years, you may wish to re-allocate the money you were putting away towards your down payment to your RRSP or a child’s RESP.

Visualize your Progress

Seeing how far you’ve come can be a great motivator to keep yourself on track. Consider drawing a graphic to chart the progress you’re making towards your final goal, or creating an Excel spreadsheet to track your savings contributions.

Set up a Pre-authorized Contribution

Pay yourself first and set up a pre-authorized contribution to your savings account. You can set it up to coincide with your pay days. Setting your savings to automatic means you’ll be saving money every month without thinking about it, and by setting up the contribution to be made on your pay day, you remove the temptation to spend those funds instead of saving them.