Did you know that as little as one hour of planning can set you up for a year of successful saving? Professor Pig has a few quick tips to get you ready to achieve your savings goals in the New Year.
Select a Partner
Working on your financial goals can feel like a private process, but involving your partner or a trusted friend can provide valuable perspective and much-needed encouragement.
If your financial plan is for a family, consider including the kids in your planning session. In today’s culture of instant gratification, it is more important than ever for kids to learn to be thoughtful and strategic financially. SmartyPig makes it easy for kids to visualize their goals, track saving progress, and watch the interest earned boost their efforts!
Finally, make your planning session easy and fun. Gather in a comfortable location like the dinner table or sofa. And be sure everyone can see the computer and feels included in the planning process. Include your favorite snacks and have refreshments available so no one feels the need to leave the session, which could make them miss out on important discussions or details. You could even turn it into a competition and see who reaches their goals fastest!
Create Your Plan
You may start your planning session on paper but utilizing the SmartyPig app to finalize your financial goals is the best plan for keeping everyone up to date. Plus, the sooner your goals are in the system, the sooner you can begin making deposits!
Draft goals with the next three to five years in mind. Think about a good mix of objectives, including short-term, easier-to-achieve goals, and higher-value long-term goals. Create family goals, such as a vacation and emergency fund, as well as several individual goals for each family member. For example, kids may set money aside short-term for new electronics and long-term for their education. Parents may be saving for minor home renovations short-term and dreaming of a new car further in the future.
Once each goal has been created, set up automatic, recurring deposits. You don’t have to divide the funds between your goals equally. You can send a more significant percentage of money to goals with the highest priority or earliest deadline, and when you receive a raise or bonus, set aside some or all those funds to boost your goals!
Make it a Regular Date
Before the end of your session, put at least one more session on the calendar. Setting a date three, six, and maybe nine months into the New Year will hold you accountable for your goals, then adjust as needed or as priorities change, and allow you to encourage one another and celebrate your progress!
Taking just a little time to think about your financial goals will significantly impact your ability to reach them. Start now, and you’ll be on your way to savings, success, and turning your dreams into reality in the New Year!