There are some financial goals that don’t happen overnight, and in fact they can take years and years to achieve. For example you might be working towards paying off your debts or saving for a house deposit. It can be really hard to stay motivated with these long term financial goals, and I want to share some of the strategies I am using for my own goals.
Our big savings goal is to buy a house together this year, and our limited company is now two years old so we will have two years of books behind us, meaning we can start the process of buying a house. We have been working hard to make money and save money to put towards our house deposit and other fees and I wanted to share some of the ways we have been able to motivate ourselves when saving for such a big goal.
Divide your goal by 100
No matter what your savings goal is, take the goal and divide it by 100. You then have your 1% figure. Now you just need to save that 1% 100 times. For example, if you needed £500 towards a holiday then your 1% would be £5. Suddenly looking at making or saving £5 at a time is much easier than looking at the entire amount.
If the entire amount is into the thousands or tens of thousands then you can work on smaller goals, such as tackling £1,000 at a time. That’s just 100 £10s that you need to find. It suddenly becomes a lot more easier to forgo that take away or that coffee, or you get the motivation to list something on eBay.
You can even create a sheet to cross off every 1% you save so that you have a visual reminder of what you have achieved so far. This trick is so powerful that it helped me to pay off over £15,000 worth of credit card debt.
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Staying motivated when you have a long term money goal, such as buying a house or paying off debts is HARD. In tomorrow’s newsletter I’m sharing some of the ways I am staying on track but this is honestly the best tip I’ve picked up and I use it for everything. Take your goal, divide it by 100 and that’s your 1%. Side hustle and save those 1%s until you have met your goal. You can break it down too into smaller amounts – I do £1,000 chunks and you can see how I do them in my story highlights. Then once I’ve side hustled and saved £1,000 it goes into our long term house savings. Let me tell you that finding £10 is so much easier than looking at a full £1,000. Want this printable? It’s free to download – link in my bio. #moneysaving #moneysavingtips #savingmoney #frugal #frugalliving #ukdebtfreecommunity #saving #debtfreejourney #frugallife #budgetlife #debtfreeliving #livingonabudget #totalmoneymakeover #debtfreegoals #debtisdumb #payingoffdebt #frugalshopper #frugalblogger #frugality #budget #budgetplanner #budgetplanner #budgeting #personalfinance #moneymanagement #emergencyfund #debtfreedom #financialpeace #simplelife #debtfree
I even have a 1% at a time printable for you to download, completely free!
Remind yourself why you are saving
Reminding yourself why you are saving on a regular basis is key to staying motivated long term. If your financial goal is going to take years to accomplish then you need to keep reminding yourself why you want this.
If you are saving towards a house deposit then spend some time looking at potential houses online and imagine how you will feel owning it. If your goal is to become debt free then imagine what it would be like when all your wages are your own without any going towards repayments. If your goal is a family holiday then research destinations that you know you will love.
By regularly reminding yourself of your goals you will be more willing to work harder for them.
Revisit your budget regularly
Budgeting regularly is really important to help you account for changes in both your income and your outgoings. By regularly updating your budget you also look for more opportunities to save money. For example you might realise that you aren’t watching that TV subscription any more, or that you haven’t actually used that gym membership. You can then cancel what you no longer need and put those savings towards your long term financial goal.
List the reasons why you want to reach your goal
This one goes alongside regularly reminding yourself of your goal, and this is to write out as many reasons you want to reach your goal as you can. By doing this powerful activity I have sometimes come up with 100 reasons to do something. When you have 100 reasons to do something then you find that you are much more motivated and it keeps you on track.
Make sure your money is working for you
You have worked hard to save towards your goal, so it is important that your money works for you. Interest rates are still very low following the recession, but there are ways to make sure that your money is working for you. You should get independent financial advice for your own circumstances, but some ideas would be to use your ISA allowance so that you don’t pay tax on your interest, or using the Government Help to Buy ISA or Lifetime ISA if they would help you with your long term financial goals.
Work on your non-financial goals too
With your long term financial goal there might also be some non-financial goals you can work towards. If you want to buy a house then you might want to also declutter so you have less to move when the big day comes. You can also sell your unwanted items which will help towards your financial goal. If you are saving for a holiday you might want to challenge yourself to get your holiday wardrobe from charity shops. Remember to focus on some other goals too – the time is passing anyway!
Rewarding yourself along the journey is very important, and it doesn’t have to cost you much money. You should congratulate yourself along the journey for every milestone you hit, whether that be with some time to yourself to relax, a meal out, a date night or buying your favourite chocolate. Whatever it is, take some time to celebrate your achievements.
Let others know about your goals
You might not feel comfortable sharing the exact figures, but letting your friends and family know that you are saving towards a financial goal. They will not only give you accountability, but they will also share your joy when you reach milestones, and they will be more understanding when it comes to events and get togethers, helping you to enjoy a more budget friendly activity.
Set milestones along the way
Saving for a long term financial goal takes time, so it is important to set yourself some milestones along the way.
Personally I like to save in £1,000 pockets because that feels more achievable than looking at the tens of thousands of pounds a house deposit it.
Save in a separate pot
My Barclays current account allows me to open e-savings accounts, which I have not for the interest rate, but to keep money in another ‘pot'. You can do this with Monzo too!
If we are adamant we are having a take away, then we force ourselves to cook, we put that money aside into our e-savings account.
Keeping the money separate means that you don't need to look at your current account balance and work out how much you can spend.