Reach your savings goals

Setting a savings goal for yourself is exciting. Your goal could be to put some money aside for emergencies or you may want to save for a home deposit, car, holiday or a wedding.

Whatever your goal, once you start a regular savings plan you may surprise yourself with how much you can achieve once you put your mind to it.

How to achieve your savings goals

When you set a savings goal it's important to get a savings plan together so you can make your dream a reality. After all, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

Smart tip

If you have borrowed money at a high interest rate, make paying off that debt your priority before putting your money into savings.

Here are some techniques used by confident savers:

  • Set a specific savings target to work towards
  • Have a clear savings plan
  • Regularly review your progress
  • Set a specific time frame to achieve your goal
  • Tell your family and friends about your goal.

People who review, remind themselves and publicly commit to their savings goals are more likely to achieve them.

How Australians save money

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a successful saver?how-australians-save-money-infographic-thumbnail-tips

Our saving infographic shows what Australians' savings goals are, the top reasons people break financial resolutions, and the techniques people use to reach their savings goals.

Know how much money you need

The first step to achieving your savings goal is to work out how much money you need to save and how long it will take you to save that amount. 

Work out how long it will take to meet your savings targets.

Savings goals calculator

If you prefer to write down your savings goals, use this savings plan.

Make some cut backs

To achieve your savings goal, you may have to cut back on optional expenses like entertainment, dining out and shopping.

Record your everyday expenses, so you have a clear picture of what you are spending your money on, and where you can make some changes.

You can also use our budget planner to see how much money is coming in and going out each week, fortnight or month.

Stay in control of your money and plan for your future.

Budget planner

Visit our webpage for ideas on simple ways to save money. For tips on how to save for a specific goal, see:

Saving for a short-term goal

Short-term goals are things you want to achieve within the next couple of years. These goals could be to pay off your credit card debt, buy a new TV, go on a holiday or buy a car. Whatever you have in mind, set yourself a realistic timeframe.

Cut back on expenses

The best way to save for short-term goals is to reduce your spending on non-essential items, like entertainment, dining out, memberships or subscriptions. It is often easier to stay on top of your spending if you use cash, EFTPOS or a debit card when shopping instead of using your credit card.

Look for spending leaks

Spending leaks are those small regular purchases, like a morning cup of coffee, that add up over a period of time. If you're trying to save some extra cash, think about your spending leaks. Just one $3.50 cup of coffee every morning will cost you $840 over a year.

Because spending leaks are often the fun things like drinks or entertainment, don't cut them out completely. Instead, choose just one or two things to cut back on.

Cash in your spare change

Instead of putting your spare change into a vending machine or using it to buy snacks or takeaways, why not collect it at the end of every week and put it into an old jar or empty ice cream container? When it's full, take it to your bank and deposit it into your savings account. It's a quick and easy way to boost your savings. 

Set up a savings account

Think about opening an online savings account. They offer a high interest rate which compounds, so you can earn interest on the interest and your savings keep growing. Find out more about compound interest.

It's also harder to access money in these accounts than other transaction accounts, so you won't be tempted to use the money for other things.

Some banks now offer an option to round up purchases you make using a contactless card and transfer this amount to your savings account. You can set the round up amount to the nearest $1 or $5. For example, if you set your round up amount to the nearest dollar and you buy a coffee for $4.50, your account will be debited with $5 and the 50c change will be added to your savings account.

Automate your savings

If you're working, consider transferring part of your pay directly into this savings account. You can ask your employer to do this for you, or you can set up a transfer yourself. Automating your savings allows you to 'set and forget', so your savings will automatically grow each time you get paid!

Saver Plus

Saver Plus helps families on low incomes develop a savings habit, build assets and improve their financial skills. You set a savings goal and receive support and education to help you achieve it. When you reach your goal, your savings are matched, dollar for dollar, up to $500.

Important: MoneySmart does not lend money

ASIC's MoneySmart website does not lend money or arrange loans but is happy to answer
your questions about loans and money. Email us at or call
ASIC's Infoline on 1300 300 630.

Saving for a long-term goal

Long-term goals are plans you want to achieve in around 5 years or more. This could include buying a home or paying off your mortgage, paying for your children's education or saving for retirement.

Think about investing some of your money. Get some financial advice to work out a good investment strategy to reach your goals.

Video: What financial tip would you give your 20-year-old self?

Video about saving and investing

Financial literacy experts give their tips around saving, investing and the importance of budgeting.

Saving money for emergencies

Whatever your goals, it's a good idea to put some money aside for emergencies. Keep this 'rainy day' fund separate to your savings and everyday money. As a guide, aim to save up enough money to cover your expenses for 1-3 months. Remember to keep this money for real emergencies and top it up again after you use it. See our webpage on building an emergency fund for tips on how to create a savings buffer.

Saving is easier than you may think. The trick is to start small and start now. Set your goals, create your savings plan and begin to make your dreams a reality.

Related links

Last updated: 30 Oct 2019