To know thyself is the ultimate form of aggression, according to scholar Marion J Levy.
Hmmm, not sure we agree with Marion on this one. We reckon that wanting to save for your future, but never being able to really get your savings off the ground is pretty frustrating, too.
What if we told you that defining your personality type may be the key to unlocking your savings potential? We’ve identified a number of common personas we see everyday – see if you recognise yourself, and find out what you can do to save smarter.
Find it easy to set goals, but then try to do too much too soon and burn out? Look, you’re on your way, but you’ve got to recognise that good things come to those who wait.
- Instead of setting one large Savings Goal, break your total up into smaller, periodic totals.
- Use a budgeting tool to constantly check in with your progress.
- Consider re-naming your account and implementing quick-balance on your mobile banking app to stay motivated.
You’re good at putting long term plans on paper, but you’re at a point in your life when your future is anything but predictable (parents, I’m talking to you…)
- Don’t be afraid to set up a budget that’s flexible, so you can shelve long term goals without scrapping them completely.
- Divide your budget up into smaller chunks, like per month, or per quarter. This way, if things change in your life, and you have to re-adjust your savings plan, it causes less stress.
- Start an emergency savings fund to account for the unexpected. Everyone deserves a good buffer.
You’re constantly concerned you’re not saving enough, or stretching yourself too thin trying to meet your goals. Finding that sweet spot between ambition and attainability seems impossible.
- Calculate your likelihood of meeting your goal – anything above a 70% probability is achievable, anything approaching 100% may be too easy.
- Prepare for what you can – plan ahead for things like debt repayments and large annual costs like insurance, bills, rates, etc.
The Easily Tempted
You’ve got a savings goal in place, but you still like to “treat yo’self”. Impulse buys and sweet sales pitches prove a distraction more often than you’d like.
- Get on the front foot – don’t rely on money left over each pay period to contribute to your savings – set up scheduled payments in Internet Banking or your App. This way, you’ll know for sure how much ‘walking around money’ you have to play with.
- Consider hiding your savings account within your online banking, so it’s out of sight, out of mind. Set up an email or SMS alert so you’ll know when you’ve reached your savings goal.
When it comes to really long term goals, like saving for your retirement, you’d just as soon not know about it, and stick your head in the sand. It all seems too hard, right?
- Educate yourself. Speak to a financial planner, and use online tools available, like Bridges’ CHOICES tool, to see how easy it can be to start planning for your future.
- Start small. Any start is better than no start at all, and avoiding the issue may actually derail your future goals. It can be as simple as opening a high-interest savings account and committing to a small amount of savings each week.
If you’re interested in making the first step on the road to smarter saving, why not check out our range of helpful How-To Guides, covering topics like Controlling your spending, setting up a budget, Saving for emergencies and Planning for retirement.