As part of America Saves Week 2014 we plan to get a jumpstart on our savings goals for the new year. With two in college and retirement looming, our family has quite a few serious savings goals. The sheer magnitude of the amount we need for retirement can get overwhelming, but we’re making great progress by following simple action plans.
What is America Saves Week?
America Saves Week is an opportunity each year for organizations and individuals to promote healthy savings habits by participating in online activities and local savings campaigns. Organizations can help fund and promote local programs while individuals can set savings goals and monitor their progress at AmericaSavesWeek.org.
If you want to participate in the individual savings pledge program, visit the section of the America Saves Week website set up for individual participants. Here you can make a savings pledge, assess your progress and share your savings goals with others.
Organizations can visit the site to sign up to participate and download the media kit with sample blog posts and website graphics.
My Savings Goals for 2014
My targeted savings goals for 2014 include a fund for a computer purchase and a fund to help my oldest daughter pay to study abroad. I also want to get a head start on saving for the same daughter’s graduation gift in 2015 and my younger daughter’s study abroad trip in the same year. I have funds already established for all but the computer purchase.
Specifically, my goal for these targeted savings funds are:
- $3000 for a new computer
- $4000 for oldest’s study abroad trip
- $3500 for oldest’s graduation
- $2000 for youngest’s study abroad trip
- $500 for nephew’s graduation gift
One of the reasons I like to name my savings goals is to help me avoid the temptation of impulse buys. If I’m saving money for anything associated with my daughters, I will not dip into that money.
My Savings Plan for 2014
I have two daughters in college and a new business venture, so saving money can be quite a challenge. Fortunately, we’ve spent the last 20 years living and saving on one income, so I’ve developed some money management habits that should come in handy.
One of the most important things I’ve done over the years has been to set targeted savings goals for specific purchases and then save 50% more than needed. I like that when the purchase or investment is made, my short term savings is not wiped out. This works nicely whether the targeted savings amount is $500 or $15,000. If you’ve ever felt that gut-wrenching feeling of having an empty savings account after a large purchase, this savings trick will help.
Two of my savings goals for this year will need to be met before the year is out. My nephew graduates from high school in June and my daughter will need the funds for her study abroad trip before July. All other savings goals are spread out through the full year.
To accomplish my savings goals in the past I have swept my pay into a savings account and then I have transferred funds back to checking as needed to pay bills and cover expenses. Once my money is in a savings account I will not transfer it out for frivolous purchases. This technique might not work for everyone, but it has made a big difference in the amount I save from each paycheck.