GENERAL

How to Create a Savings Schedule

Saving money does not come easily to everyone. It can be difficult to get financially literate, especially when present economic circumstances make saving harder than ever. One simple way to start engaging with savings and your future is to create a savings ‘schedule’ – but what does that mean?

Start with the End

In creating a meaningful and effective savings programme, you need to start with the end – that is, to define your goals for saving. Is there a specific milestone or goal to which your money would be going, such as a first home or starting a family? This can be a good place to start for setting a specific savings goal. Alternatively, you might simply be saving for comfort or later life, in which case you might pick an arbitrary figure that is both affordable and realistic for your ambitions.

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Break it Down

Next, you’ll need to break down your existing financial situation. How much are you earning, and how much is going out to unavoidable costs like your home, utilities and grocery costs? Your leftover ‘net’ income is the maximum you can save; while you can’t devote the entirety of this to your savings each month without making serious caveats, you can use this figure to find an affordable monthly savings amount – and hence create a schedule.

Automate!

The key mechanism in your savings mission will be the accounts into which you place your money. It is already good practice to compare savings accounts according to interest rates, costs and potential perks and benefits, so as to benefit the most. But, important as these factors are to build the most efficient and effective savings plan, more important by far is your consistency with saving – particularly at the very start of your journey.

Even with the best of intentions, it is incredibly easy for a savings deposit to slip your mind. As such, setting up a standing order from your current account can remove the responsibility from you, and also keep you true to your savings schedule. If you have a complex set of goals, including an emergency fund and a stocks and shares ISA, you might set multiple standing orders and subdivide your savings amount between them.

Keep Track of Your Progress

Just because your savings efforts can be easily automated does not mean that they should be fully left to their own devices. Keeping a keen eye on your various savings systems can help you catch any irregularities, or react to changes in your own circumstances with greater speed.

For example, you might get a pay rise, and hence increase the amount of money you could feasibly put away. Leaving your standing orders as they are would mean you were no longer saving as efficiently as you could be, and could also lead you to get complacent with other spending habits due to a higher amount of disposable income. Likewise, harder times might require you to re-align your savings goal to better reflect your outgoings.

Finally, though, keeping abreast of your savings progress can be an encouraging thing; watching your accounts or portfolio grow with your efforts is a great motivator to keep going.

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TIME BUSINESS NEWS

TBN Editor

Time Business News Editor Team