Know the road ahead and how much you'll need
Maybe you’ve been dreaming about a week on the beach with the family. The sun. The ocean breeze. The tropical drinks. The only problem? You don’t have the cash right now to hop on the next flight out of town.
We all have our eye on some things we want in the next few years, whether it’s that beach trip, a new TV for the man cave, or maybe a new car. Whatever it is, we know we want it. And if we don’t have the cash laying around, we’ll need some way to pay for it.
The good news is we can put together a quick plan for how we’ll get to our around-the-corner goals. Let’s take a look at some things we’ll need to know to reach our short-term savings goals.
Understand your goal
You wouldn’t start a road trip without knowing where you’re going, right? In other words, it’s important to know what we’re saving for, when we’ll need the money, and about how much it’ll cost. We won’t need a precise amount - just a ballpark number that’ll help guide us as we build toward our short-term savings goals. With a roadmap for where we’re headed, we’ll have a smoother journey.
Know your budget
We need to figure out how much we can put toward short-term savings goals each month. For some, this may be a good chance to take a look at your monthly budget and see what might be left at the end of the month. Looking at our budget can help us figure out how much we have to put toward this goal. (If you’re thinking this is a good time to take a look at your budget, our budget worksheet can make it easy to see where you stand).
Find the right home for your money
What’s often overlooked is that we’ll need a home for this money to sit and grow. Since we’ll need it in the near future, we want easy access to it. At the same time, it’s important to get it out of our checking account so we aren’t tempted to spend it on other things. We need a savings account - hopefully, a separate one just for this goal. We’ve put together a quick guide for what a savings account should do for you.
Map out the plan
Sometimes we just need to see the progress we’re making on the journey toward our short-term savings goals. For some, seeing that progress visually makes all the difference. Consider a countdown calendar that tracks your progress. Or even a checklist. Not only will you see your success, you’ll also get a feeling of accomplishment each time you move yourself a little closer to your goal.
Let’s recognize the progress we’re making. Maybe we hit the $500 mark along the way to our savings goal. Let’s celebrate it. And no, this doesn’t mean we go throw a big party (womp womp). Think of it as doing something nice for ourselves to reinforce that habit of continuing to put money aside – for example, we could give ourselves permission to binge watch that TV show everyone has been talking about. Or maybe it’s giving ourselves a little guilt-free time off. We have a list of fun activities you can do around Kansas City – all for free!
With the right know-how, you can make those around-the-corner dreams more than just a dream. For more great help, check out our Ruling Your Tomorrows ebook.
Future you wants you to read this
Future you is pretty smart. So check out the tips and lifehacks future you thinks will make you look smart right now - and in the future. Download the free ebook.