Setting and Adjusting Your Savings Goals

Setting and Adjusting Your Savings Goals

Putting together a savings account is an important part of financial independence. Savings make it possible to withstand financial setbacks and to occasionally take risks for greater rewards. You already know that savings aren’t built in a day. It takes time to accumulate a fair amount of savings by setting aside some of your income each month. One of the best ways to help yourself save is to set savings goals. 

Not sure where to start? No worries, we’ve got a few useful tips to help you set and adjust your savings goals.

Defining Your Savings Goals

The first step is to set an initial savings goal. This can be how much you want to have in reserve or saving up for something specific. Your first savings goal typically comes from personal motivation, whether that’s a desire for financial security or an effort to buy something special. 

Here are a few ways you can define your savings goals:

  • How much you want in your emergency savings
  • How much you want to set aside each month for a vacation
  • The cost of something big you want to buy or gift
  • To keep your savings above a certain dollar amount
  • To save a certain percentage of your income

Remember that savings accounts typically work better the longer the money stays in the account, so long-term savings goals will typically be more beneficial.

Setting Savings Goals

How do you define your savings goal? This is often represented by the amount that you want to save each month, week, or paycheck. The two most practical approaches to savings involve taking a small amount out of each month’s income.

Percent Saving means that you take a certain percentage of your income each time you are paid. You can even make direct deposits if pre-arranged with your bank. Percentage savings can adjust to raises and better jobs easily and may fit easily into your household budget calculations.

You can also set aside a specific amount per month or paycheck. Let’s say you deposit just $50 a month into your savings. Over six months, that becomes $300, or $600 with every year you save at this rate. You don’t have to start big because you can adjust your savings goals as your income increases.

Different Types of Savings Goals

Committing to a savings goal can be short-term or long-term. A short-term savings goal may be easier to get started because you can see the celebration at the end. Short-term savings goals tend to have a specific target, like booking a weekend getaway, a new appliance, or a new personal car.

Long-term goals tend to relate more to your lifestyle. You might save a long time for a home down payment or make a habit of saving so that your safety net money continues to grow year after year.

When to Revisit Your Goals and Make Changes

When should you adjust your savings goals? When your financial circumstances change, so too will your desire and need to save. If you reach a goal you were saving for, you might choose a new short-term goal or transition to long-term savings.

If the amount you save monthly has become pocket change because your prospects have improved, congratulations! Time to update your savings to build a deeper nest egg. Being able to put a little more aside is always a good thing.  The same is also true if the recent increase in cost-of-living has cut into your funds. Modestly drop your savings goals or reduce the percentage that you save when money is tight.

If you find you have excess spending money at the end of the month, drop it into your savings and consider increasing the amount you save monthly. Unless you have a strong urge to splurge, you’ll enjoy saving yourself from a dip into a larger savings account later on instead.

The Tools You Need to Save Successfully with CashFurther

CashFurther is a resource community for people who are learning to handle their money in a smart way. To keep finding more ways to improve your personal finances, and interact with other like-minded individuals, join the CashFurther community.

Savings 101: Where, When, and How To Grow Your Savings Account

Savings 101: Where, When, and How To Grow Your Accounts

More than 55 million Americans have nothing in their savings account, while 40% of Americans struggle to pay for basic needs – making budgeting and saving more vital than ever.

Building your savings helps you stop depending on credit cards or going into debt while working to achieve your financial goals. Saving may seem impossible, but the hardest part about saving money is getting started. With a simple and realistic plan, you can start saving for your short-term and long-term goals.

Keep reading to learn how to embrace saving and work to secure your financial freedom.

How to Open a Savings Account

The best place to put your savings is one that complements your financial goals and comfort levels. Money in a savings account earns interest, which is excellent because then your money is working for you. Before opening a savings account, take your time and research the terms and interests different credit unions and banks offer. If opening more than one savings account will help you organize your finances better, go for it.

Where Should You Save Your Money?

Before you open your savings account, you need to answer the following questions?

• What are your saving goals?

• When will you need the money?

• Interest rates

If you’re saving to build your emergency fund, keep your money in an easy-to-access account that attracts no penalties on withdrawal. If saving for long-term goals, go for accounts with high-interest rates. You can also opt to have multiple saving accounts to meet different goals.

If you feel you will be tempted to transfer your savings into your checking account, consider opening a savings account with another bank. You’re less likely to touch savings if the funds are harder to access. Be cautious about keeping your savings in cash in case of theft or disaster.

Choose How to Apply

You can apply for a savings account by visiting your preferred banking institution in person, by phone, by mailing the application, or online.

Gather Required Documents

To open any bank account, you need to present some documents and personal information. If you’re opening an individual or joint savings account, make sure that you and the other parties have the following documents:

• Social Security number

• Identification (typically a driver’s license or passport)

• Contact information

• Date of birth

• Address (sometimes including proof of residence, like a utility bill)

• Bank account information for your other accounts, if applicable

Choose an Individual or Joint Account

If you want to create personal savings, open an individual account. If you’re opening an account with a third party, like your child or spouse, open a joint account so that they are also able to access the funds.

Submit Your Application

Submit your application to the financial institution of your choice in person or online, and await account activation which can take a day or two.

Fund Your Savings Account

To activate your account, you need to deposit a minimum opening balance – usually between $25 to $100 depending on the type of account. You can typically fund the account by cash or check. Be prepared to fund the account at the time that you are approved.

Set up Online Banking

Nearly all banks and credit unions offer online banking platforms. Sign up for online banking and download and download the bank’s mobile app to manage your account easily.

Making the Most of Your Savings Account

Set Your Specific Savings Goals

Before you start saving your money, set clear and specific goals for your savings. Do you have an emergency account with a few months of savings, or want to buy a new house in a certain neighborhood? Working with set goals derives more satisfaction and strengthens your savings mindset while allowing you to create a realistic savings plan.

Budget for Savings

Once you have a clear savings goal, figure out what it will take to get there and assess if that amount of time and money is realistic based on your personal circumstances. If not, make more adjustments to your plan. Then sit down, note unnecessary expenses you can let go of, and channel the cash into your savings.

Set up an Automatic Deposit

Set up a fixed automatic fund transfer (usually a percentage of your check or a flat dollar amount) from your paycheck through your employer, or your checking account with your bank to your savings account. You are less likely to spend the funds that you intend to save if the money never touches your spending account in the first place. Just make sure you are able to quickly access your savings in case of an emergency.

Track Your Savings Account

Keep track of your progress and account, and consider setting small, incremental goals. Watching your set goals become a reality as your savings continue to grow is exciting, which makes you less likely to spend frivolously. Though temptations may set in, stay committed! Getting started is always the most challenging part. Every step in the right direction is a massive milestone toward achieving your financial freedom.


Do you want to learn more ways of improving your finances as you interact with other like-minded individuals? Join the CashFurther community for free today.