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How Do I Start Saving for My Goals?

October 12th, 2022 | 9 min. read

How Do I Start Saving for My Goals?

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We all know money provides security, control, freedom, and much more to enjoy a better and healthy life. That's something we all want - including myself.  So, we look for ways and build better financial habits to reach a goal.  And there are hundreds of tools, tips, apps, and methods out there. But the real question is:  What habit or money-saving style actually works?


I'm going to give you actionable steps to help you get on track with reaching your goals because it helped me in my journey. I'll be a new homeowner in less than a month, and it took patience and discipline to stay on track. I'll share what you need to do to get started plus I’ll share Skyla’s great money-saving accounts that help you save for various life events and goals.





Start by starting. Yep - you read that right! Some people sit and think about their goals, stalling but never taking action to achieve them. Remember the inspirational commencement speech Beyoncé gave for the class of 2020? "Don't talk about what you're gonna do. Don't just dream about what you're gonna do... You, be it. Be about it. Be about that action and go do it.".

giphy-Feb-15-2022-05-31-04-12-PMVia Giphy

Although she was talking to students graduating during a difficult time in 2020, that inspirational message also applies here. Saving money for a goal can seem challenging until you get started, but once you know what you want to accomplish, the goal can be more attainable than impossible.


List-Icondefine your goals

Be about that action by figuring out what you're saving for. In a previous article, I talked about setting attainable goals in the 7 Steps to Building an Emergency Savings Fund. Knowing why (or what) you're saving for is a huge motivator. It means it's important to you, and there's value in achieving it.

Whether you want to buy a house or a car, pay off debt, or just have $X amount in your savings account ready to use for whatever - make sure you know what your goal is. It's more achievable that way! Psst If you have more than one goal, prioritize your list. This will help determine how much money you'll need to save and properly budget for it.

QUICK TIP: To help define your goal and stick to it, put it in writing and place it somewhere you can see it. You can also set recurring reminders in your calendar if you want to work on your finances by balancing your accounts, building your budget, or anything else that can help you achieve your goals. 



record your expenses

Now that you know what you're saving for, it's time to understand what you currently spend so you have an idea of how much you'll eventually need to achieve your goal. Record your expenses by listing out every expense and bill you have. Don't forget what you typically spend for groceries, gas, eating out, and entertainment.

Once you've recorded your expenses, it's time to budget. If you're not sure where to start, you can use the 50/20/30 rule


the 50/20/30 rule
  • 50% of your income goes towards needs like rent, utilities, and groceries.
  • 20% of your income should go towards financial goals like retirement, college funds, and other big life goals.
  • 30% should go towards wants - think concert tickets, dining out, or shopping.

For more details about setting up your budget, read up on the basics of building your budget to help you get started. 


Calendar-Checkmark-Iconcreate a savings timeline 

Knowing the amount of money you need to have saved by a specific time frame is a good motivator. You can set benchmarks to help measure performance over time and find areas of improvement if you need to revise your savings plan. Whether you're planning to buy a house, take a vacation, or pay off student loans, having a timeline in place will help you stay on track.



cut your spending and save 

I know… easier said than done. You're not alone if your expenses are too high and you can't save as much as you want. It's time to really look at your costs to identify the nonessentials by asking “Do I really need this?” If the answer is “no,” then cut that nonessential out. Plus, you can look at those essential spends and see if there are ways to lower a phone bill, car insurance, internet or cable, internet with perks and discounts, or by shopping around with other companies.

QUICK TIP: If you're working from home full time or are a hybrid, you may be able to take advantage of your car insurer's low mileage discount. Some companies offer discounts to drivers who have less than average miles per year. Contact your insurer to learn if they offer and how to take advantage of this


  • Mint:  Mint is a free digital platform that can connect all of your different bank accounts, credit cards, car payments, mortgages, and more. You can also create budgets, savings goals, and access professional advice on products that may be a good fit for your lifestyle.
  • Rocket Money: Rocket Money helps you save money on your bills. It also shows you what you've spent for the month to help you budget. In addition, you can cancel subscriptions and lower your bills with one click. I use it, and it's great!
  • Prism: Prism is a free app that makes it easier to pay your bills and helps you avoid missed payments. 


Tools-Iconsavings tools at skyla

As a credit union offering personal and business banking solutions to more than 92,000 members - savings tools are available to help you. Between savings accounts, Certificates of Deposit, Money Markets, and IRAs, our products are built to help you reach any of your goals.

Take this Savings Style Quiz to determine what your style is and what product would be best for your specific needs.

Take the Quiz

QUICK TIP:  Before you go and open a bunch of accounts if you belong to another financial institution, make sure they're cool with it and you won’t be penalized with maintenance fees. At Skyla, there aren’t any maintenance fees or strings attached to having more than one account or adding a Money Market or CD. Just make sure you understand each account’s specific benefits and requirements. Take a look at all of the savings and checking accounts we have to offer!


Money-bag-percent-iconlooking for more ways to save? 


  • Auto Transfers: Saving can be tough, and it takes commitment. Follow these easy steps to set up auto transfers to create a growing savings account without the stress!
  • Savings Calculator:  Dreaming of that big-ticket item? This savings calculator can help you determine how long it will take you to save for that dream item based on your savings program.
  • Budgeting:  Want to get a good handle on your monthly budget? Follow these simple 8-steps to create a budget and find a few extra bucks to stash away!

    Download the Smart Budgeting Guide


how do i Build an Emergency Fund?

If you don't have one already, creating an emergency fund is important to help cover unexpected costs, such as a car or home repairs, medical and dental emergencies, or the loss of a job. Plan to save 3 - 6 months of your living expenses to create a healthy emergency fund. Check out our article 7 Steps to Building an Emergency Fund to learn more. 


what if i Don't Have Savings During an Emergency?

Unfortunately, life challenges do not discriminate based on bank account balances. Even if you have very little in savings, you could still get hit with an expensive emergency. But don't worry! There are a few best courses of action to take if emergencies or expenses pop up when you don’t have a fallback plan. Check out our article What If I Don’t Have Savings During an Emergency? to learn more. 


feel ready to tackle your savings? 

Money provides security, control, freedom, and much more to enjoy a better and healthy life. If you're looking to achieve a goal, the first step is getting started. As you define your savings goals, grab a spreadsheet and write a list of things you're looking to accomplish within the year or the next few years. Keep that goals list along with a timeline of your plan visible, so you stay motivated.

Download the Smart Budgeting Guide will bring you back to square one and cover everything under the sun about creating a budget to help you jumpstart your financial success.





As the Content Specialist and author of the Learning & Guidance Center, Yanna enjoys motivating others by uncovering all that's possible in the world of finance. From financial tips and tricks to ultimate guides and comparison charts, she is obsessed with finding ways to help readers excel in their journey towards financial freedom.


more resources to help your money grow

7 Steps to Building an Emergency Savings Fund

Don’t know where to start when saving for an emergency fund? Here is how you can save for an emergency with effective tips for anyone who isn’t prepared...

8 min. read

What If I Don’t Have Savings During an Emergency?

Don't know what to do if an unexpected financial emergency comes up? Here are actionable tips you can do to help you through a tough time.

12 min. read

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