Our family is attempting to save more money in the coming months with some big changes on the horizon. When we started trying to plan for this, we started throwing around some pretty big numbers. However, I know from previous experience these lofty numbers are difficult to reach and focus on. So, how do you create an aggressive savings plan?
How to Create an Aggressive Savings Plan
First and foremost, before you start planning out the perfect savings plan for you and your family, you should research some of the best high-yield savings accounts. These will give you more bang for your buck in terms of interest rates. Once you find a savings account that you want to use, then you can begin crafting the ultimate savings plan.
Set a Specific Savings Goal
You need to have a specific number in mind when you are setting a savings goal. Decide why, or what, you are saving for and focus on that. For example, you want to save $10,000 by the end of the year in preparation for a new baby. This gives a why, an amount, and a period of time in which to meet the goal. Your savings goal may be smaller. For instance, you may need to save $1,000 for an emergency fund by the end of next month. Whatever the goal is, it needs to be specific.
Really Examine Your Finances
When I say really examine your finances, I mean with a fine-tooth comb. You need to know how much money is coming in, what’s going out, and be able to identify unnecessary expenses. When we took a closer look at what we were spending we realized we overspent on our grocery budget every single month. Why? We eat out too much. It is pretty simple, but when you see the numbers behind it (in our cases hundreds of dollars), it can inspire change. That money really starts adding up once you start stacking it in your savings account.
Stop Spending and Find Ways to Grow
When you examine your finances, you’ll likely find things you didn’t know you were wasting money on. Determine where your costs can be decreased and trim those expenses. For instance, if you are trying to save $10,000 by the end of the year, skipping your bi-weekly manicure will probably help you get there.
In addition to finding areas in your budget to trim, you should also find new ways to bring in money as well. Look for a side hustle or part-time job to amp up your savings even more. Or consider some basic hacks, such as using rebate sites when you shop, making use of coupons, or possibly scanning your receipts for some extra savings.
While saving money may be a top priority for you right now, that doesn’t mean you should cut all of the fun out of your budget. In fact, cutting everything out of your budget is a bad idea and can lead to abandoning your savings plan altogether. Instead, incorporate rewards for meeting goals and milestones into your budget. You should also keep one or two fun things in there as well.
What Makes a Savings Plan Aggressive?
Now, you may be thinking this doesn’t sound very different from any other savings plan, but what makes your plan aggressive is the amount of time and effort you are willing to put in. You may want to save $10,000 in the fastest amount of time possible. To do this, you may decrease your spending, pay down debts and reallocate the funds to savings, and look for additional work to increase your income.
All in all, an aggressive savings plan is all about how aggressive you make it. Some individuals will move out of their home, rent a room, and slum it for a few months to completely overhaul their finances. Other people, myself included, want to find a more comfortable way to master saving.
Be Patient With Your Progress
No matter where you are in your financial journey, patience is key. I have learned throughout my own debt freedom journey and my relationship with finance that when you run out of patience, you also run out of the drive to make your goals happen.
One thing you should always strive to do throughout your own personal journey is learning from your mistakes. When something doesn’t go as planned or things fall through the cracks, really think about why it happened and what you can do to improve. You may not get it on the first, second, or even third try, but not giving up is the important part.
Readers, have you ever created an aggressive savings plan? How much did you save? How much time did it take?
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Amanda Blankenship is the Director of Social Media for District Media. In addition to her duties handling everything social media, she frequently writes for a handful of blogs and loves to share her own personal finance story with others. When she isn’t typing away at her desk, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, husband, and dog. During her free time, you’re likely to find her with her nose in a book, hiking, or playing RPG video games.