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How to track and achieve your savings goals

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Milestones will help you assess your savings progress and stay motivated throughout the year.

 

Set some milestones

Now that you have your savings goals established and a plan to reach them, take a moment to create some savings milestones. Milestones will help you assess your savings progress and stay motivated throughout the year.

If you like seeing every little bit of progress, a monthly check-in could be the motivation you need to stay on track. If you're someone who needs to see more significant changes in your savings balances as inspiration, consider setting a milestone to review your progress every three months.

Another way milestones can help your savings goals stay on track is to set deadlines for your goals. If you're saving to update your bathroom (new vanity, mirror, toilet and some fresh linens) and need $1,000 for that goal, you might want to hit that goal in five months. You can set a milestone for five months and then celebrate hitting your savings goal with a trip to the home improvement superstore.

Milestones can also help you make adjustments to your savings goals. Suppose you've fallen a bit behind on your goals. In that case, you can use your scheduled check-ins to make a one-time catch-up deposit, adjust any automatic deposits you have set-up, or even reallocate your savings from one goal to another as you work your way through your list.

However you choose to use milestones, they're all about keeping you motivated and celebrating your progress throughout the year.

 

Make it automatic

A big way to keep your savings goals on track is to put them on autopilot with automatic deposits to your savings account. A "set it and forget it" approach can help you worry less and save more.

You can set up scheduled transfers from checking to savings the day after each payday. If you have multiple savings accounts, you can set up automated transfers to each account so that all of your goals stay on track.

Automated transfers mean you'll never forget to make your monthly savings contribution. They'll also help give you a jolt of motivation by making savings feel effortless. As your savings balances increase, so will your confidence that your goals -- no matter the size -- are always within reach.

You now have a four-step process to create a savings plan and keep your savings on target throughout the year. The only question that remains is which goals will top your savings list for the year ahead and how you'll celebrate as each one becomes a reality.

Important disclosure information

This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

  1. Alexandria White, "10 financial New Year's resolutions to set now and achieve in 2020 ," CNBC, published August 27, 2020, accessed November 10, 2020. Back