Author: Jye Smith

Without goals, our savings never get off the bench

Our Belmont Branch Manager Jye Smith reveals why setting goals with your savings helps you get what you want sooner.

We all have goals in life, whether they may be owning a home, buying a new car, a dream wedding or that fantastic holiday abroad.

But all too often, these things remain just goals. It is easy to set your sights on something but to be patient and driven enough to follow through is a different story.

It makes sense to be saving all the time, but when we don't have a particular goal in mind to spur us on, it can be difficult. It's easy to spend a little here, a little there and watch your money trickle away.

That's why savings goals are such a good idea. Whether they are short or long term, the idea that you are building towards something substantial will really help you knuckle down so your balance can grow.

Recent research conducted by RaboDirect revealed that 14% of Australians don't have a current savings goal. When we break that figure down, we notice that only 7% of members of Generation Y don't have a savings goal, while an alarmingly high 22% of Baby Boomers are in the same situation.

These figures are of course relevant to life stage - members of Gen Y are more likely to be starting out in the workforce and looking to make life-stage purchases like new cars or homes, and getting married. These things all require significant dedication to saving. While Baby Boomers for the most part have reached a time where they have no major purchases on the horizon - they are saving for retirment and their financial plan is more of a long slow burn approach.

These figures have prompted claims that members of Gen Y and young people in general are 'better savers' than Baby Boomers, which is proving controversial. The most important thing to take-out of figures like these is that regardless of age, generation or life-stage, goals are extremely important in building your savings.

Some tips to help with setting savings goals:

  • Needs first - We all want a mansion with a chauffeured car, or a six month holiday abroad. However, it’s important to first consider your current circumstances, and identify things you need. The old motor on its last legs? Might need a new car. Family out-growing the castle? Time to renovate..
  • Think ahead - where do you want to be in the next five years? Are you fresh out of Uni and wanting to travel? Are you married and getting the nesting urge? Or are you looking forward to retiring and getting busy putting your feet up? Putting a little thought into your future will more than likely yield you a number of savings goals.
  • Short or long term - You may not have anything on the horizon you would consider saving for, but chances are most of us will want to get married or have children one day, and we all hope to enjoy a comfortable retirement with ample superannuation. Just because you can't identify any immediate goals, it doesn't hurt to start putting money aside for these long term life goals.

As mentioned earlier, too often we see these goals fail to be realised. Once you have the motivation, here's some advice that will help you reach your goal sooner:

  • Get in the game - It's vital that you make the most of every dollar you put aside in savings. Signing up for a high-interest savings account like The Greater's Bonus Saver should be your first port of call. Making steady deposits and no withdrawals rewards you with more interest so your savings keep growing.
  • Get help - got your account but feel like you could be doing more? It's no shame to put your hand up and ask for advice - the shame is in not asking and losing out! Meeting with a financial planner can help you devise a concrete plan for your financial future, no matter what life-stage you find yourself in.
  • Get smart - You need to stay vigilant when saving, but there are ways to lighten the load. Setting up Internet banking and SMS/Email Alerts for your Savings Account is a clever and convenient way to help you stay on top and in control of your money.

If you would like help setting or reaching your savings goals, why nottry using The Greater's handy Savings Goal Calculator? It's easy to use, and it's free!

Or you can give us a call today on 1300 651 400 or visit your nearest branch.