How to strategically reach your savings goals this year

Many people’s New Year’s resolution is to save more money, but this is easier said than done. Whether you’re trying to buy a house, pay off student loans, or take that dream vacation, here are 5 strategies to reach your savings goals in 2020.

  1. Set retirement goals in January (or on your birthday): Research has shown that new years and your birthday are effective times to set money goals. Enter a new year with a renewed commitment to your goals.
  2. Set specific, realistic goals: If your goals are too vague or extreme, it will be harder to follow through on them. Opt for something such as, “I will increase my savings rate from 5% to 15% over the next 5 years.”
  3. Make a detailed plan: Figure out the realistic steps needed to achieve your goals. If you’re considering a financial planner, research your options carefully. A good starting point is linking your credit card, loan, bank, and 401(k) accounts to an aggregation service and set monthly reminders to look at your service and get a better idea of your habits.
  4. Stress-test your plan: Consider potential obstacles to your plan such as unexpected expenses or spending temptations. Write down your goals and game plan so you’re more likely to stick to it.
  5. Use behavioral strategies that work for you: Learn to be patient with yourself. Consider making “if-then” plans, rewarding yourself for wins, identify spending triggers, and create visual reminders for yourself of what you’re saving for a why.

Incorporating more savings into your budget can be tough, but being persistent about planning and keeping your savings goals in mind can help you get there. Create a concrete, small steps and you’ll reap the rewards of your efforts in no time!

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