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If there's one thing that makes a significant difference in the efficacy of your saving method, it's having a set goal. Whether that means a monetary sum or a specific purchase in mind, having a goal encourages you to stop spending unnecessarily and stick to the plan.
But one of the hardest things about that is setting a reasonable goal. Saving thousands per week just won't be feasible for everyone, but as long as you're being smart there's no reason you can't save up a decent sum by the end of 2020.
From April 1 to December 31st there are 40 weeks of viable saving time. Depending on how you get paid (weekly or monthly) below are the crunched numbers, rounded to the nearest dollar, if you want to save up $10,000, $20,000 or $50,000 by 2021.
The most achievable here is $10,000, with $250 a week going into savings. Moving up, $20,000 is not super unreasonable, but will require you to live a bit more frugally than you would otherwise do. It's worth it for the reward at the end though.
For a lot of people $50,000 is more of a stretch goal, but it's possible if you've got enough disposable income and are willing to make a few sacrifices here and there.
How to maximise your saving effort
Saving up to hit those targets isn't easy, and it will require you to be a bit more structured with your spending. That's not to say you've got to completely eliminate any non-vital spending — you can still treat yourself to the occasional dinner or night out — but it is something to bear in mind.
Two of the easiest ways to maximise your savings are to use the tools on offer from your bank or credit union, and to create (and stick to) a budget that isn't too restrictive.
Budgets need to be rigid enough that you do save, but not so rigid that you can't account for impromptu or emergency expenses without having to start over. Responsible spending is one thing, but responsible saving is important too.
Every cent counts too, and most banks or credit unions will have existing saving or goal setting tools to help you reach your goal. For example, Credit Union Australia (CUA) has a feature called ‘Savings Top Up‘ which you can turn on via online banking (if you have an Everyday and Savings account with them).
It works by choosing a top-up amount from 50c to $5, which will automatically transfer into your savings every time you spend $10 or more with your CUA Visa Debit card. It's an easy way to accumulate your spare change into some tangible savings. If you have under $100 bucks in your account the transfer won’t happen.
Whether you're saving up to hit $10,000, $20,000 or $50,000, you're going to want to make the right choices. Don't sacrifice on the important things, save where you can and make sure you're keeping the ultimate goal in mind.
Because when you finally hit your magic goal number, it'll be worth it.