Saving

Reach your savings goals

Jar-no-backgroundSetting a savings goal for yourself is exciting. Your goal could be as simple as putting some money aside for emergencies or you may want to save for a home deposit, car, holiday or a wedding.

Whatever your circumstances, 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

Smart tip

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

When you set yourself 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.

Here are some techniques used by confident savers:

  • Know how much money is needed
  • Have a clear savings plan
  • Regularly review your progress
  • Have a specific saving time frame
  • Tell your family and friends about your goal

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

How Australians save money

savings-infographic-small

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a successful saver?

Our saving infographic shows how Australians save money, people's different saving styles as well as the techniques used by successful savers.

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.

If you have a smartphone, download our free savings app TrackMyGOALS. It will help you set up a savings plan and set, track and meet your savings goals.

TrackMyGOALS

You can also use our saving goals calculator to work out how much you'll earn in interest if your savings are put in a savings account or term deposit.

Savings goals calculator

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

Video: Miles Larbey talks about MoneySmart's TrackMyGOALS app

Video about TrackMyGOALS.

ASIC's Miles Larbey explains to Sam Henderson from the Sky TV program 'Your Money Your Call', how MoneySmart's TrackMyGOALS app can help people save money fast. He also explains the secrets of successful savers as shown in MoneySmart's How Australian save money infographic.

Miles Larbey talks about MoneySmart's TrackMyGOALS app transcript

Make some cut backs

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

To see where your money is going and to identify areas where you can save, dowload our free spending tracker app TrackMySPEND.

TrackMySpend

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

Budget planner

For tips on how to save for different goals, 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.

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. See spending for tips on how to keep track of where your money is going day to day.

Make your savings work for you by putting your money into an account where it will grow. Savings accounts are great because you can earn compound interest on your savings.

If you're on a low income, you may qualify for one of the savings programs offered by some charitable organisations. For more information see other programs for low income earners.

Video: Amy talks about saving for a holiday

Savings Calculator

Amy works out the best way to save for her overseas trip.

Amy talks about saving for a holiday transcript

Saving for a long-term goal

Smart tip

Be realistic with your timeframe so you don't make it too hard on yourself to reach your target.

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.

For long-term goals think about investing some of your money. Get some financial advice to work out a good investment strategy to reach your goals.

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.

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.


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Last updated: 18 Feb 2015

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