How to set a savings goal and stick to it
Setting savings goals is often the first step to achieving your dreams and making them feel that little bit more attainable. While money can’t buy happiness, it does make many things possible, such as going on holiday, buying a home and paying university fees.

The best way to start saving money is to first visualise a goal. Do you want to put money away for an emergency fund or retirement? Or perhaps you want to save for a house deposit or dream holiday? Whatever your reasons, having a savings goal—and not losing sight of it—will help you reach it.

One of the reasons people often don’t reach their savings goals is because they’re unable to quantify them. To help you avoid falling into that trap, here are some steps you can take to set a savings goal and succeed.

Visualising your goals

The first step to setting meaningful goals is to picture your life in 1, 5 or 10 years from now and ask yourself:

  • What would you like to be doing?
  • Where do you see yourself living?
  • How would that feel?

Use this to write down the short, medium and long-term financial goals that will help you create this. It could be to save enough for a deposit for a home or, if you’re thinking long term, it could be adding to your pension so you can secure a stable retirement.

Our RCI Bank fixed term accounts are designed with this mind, allowing you to put money away for a set period of time – ranging from 1-5 years – and rewarding you with a great interest rate for doing so, meaning that you can put even more towards your goals. For example, if you were saving for next year’s summer holiday, our one-year fixed term account could work well, whereas our five-year fixed term account would be better suited to a longer term goal, such as putting money towards a deposit on a home.

Whatever you choose, make sure you’re passionate about achieving these goals. This will aid in providing you with the motivation to commit to them and maintain your progress towards them.

Name and date your goals

Once you have some goals in mind, it helps to get specific.

For inspiration, you might refer to different pots as your ‘Getting the keys’ project, or your ‘Financial freedom’ fund. Labels such as these help to make the goals feel more personal to you and realistic.

Once you have a name for your goals, make sure to add a date or milestone too. It might be, ‘Getting the Keys in 2025’, or ‘Financial Freedom at 55’. Our savings accounts allow you to indicate the designated purpose for your pot which will come in handy when working towards your goal.

Create visual reminders

To help you achieve your goals, it can help to create visual reminders. Quotes, drawings or framed images are all great ways to bring your goals to life.

Display these reminders somewhere prominent – maybe in the kitchen, bathroom or by the front door. That way, you’ll always be reminded of what’s important to you and why you’re saving.

Regular check-ins

Check in regularly to see your savings progress. If you’ve got all of your savings in one account, you could also use a budgeting app to track your progress.

In some instances, you might not be able to save as much money as anticipated — that's fine. When this happens, analyse your spending and readjust your budget where possible, or try placing a spending limit on an area where you think you could cut back.

Automate it

Once you have a clear vision of what you want, help make stashing money away second nature by automating your savings.

Set up standing orders from your current account to your savings accounts, using your goal name as a reference. Ideally, set the payments to leave your account on payday so you’re prioritising paying yourself first.

When you tap into the emotion behind your goals, you might find yourself spending less. If so, you can top up your savings with whatever’s left at the end of the month.

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