Set a Savings Goal and Reach It in 5 Steps

Share this article

Saving for your goals can feel daunting when you’re trying to juggle other financial priorities. But building your savings can be easier when you have a roadmap to guide you where you want to go. Whatever your goals may be – whether they’re big or small – you can put them into action by creating a plan with small manageable steps.

Not sure how to get started? Let’s go over five tips that could help make saving easier.

1. Write down your goals

What are you saving for? The first step to successful saving is identifying your goals. Once you know what you want, write it down. Laying out your goals on paper helps you see your priorities clearly and gives you something concrete to work toward.

Some people sit down at the start of every new year to write down two or three things they want to save for. Others may choose to set savings goals throughout the year, whenever inspiration strikes or priorities change.

Some common savings goals may include things like:

  • Building an emergency fund
  • Saving for a down payment (e.g., car, home, etc.)
  • Paying off debt
  • Going on a dream vacation
  • Planning a wedding

2. Open multiple savings accounts

Once you’ve named your goals, consider setting up a separate savings account for each one. For example, you may want to open a high-yield savings account for your emergency fund and a certificate of deposit account for your dream vacation next summer.

If your bank offers this feature, think about nicknaming your savings accounts based on your goals – like “New Kitchen Account” or “Rainy Day Fund.” Naming your separate accounts can help you stay connected to your goals and be more motivated to reach them.

3. Set a timeline

Whether it’s a kitchen remodel next year or a new car in two years, it can help to establish a timeline and set checkpoints to track your progress.

Remember, financial goals – big or small – are rarely achieved overnight. Creating financial checkpoints can help you break down your goals into smaller, manageable steps. At each checkpoint or milestone, you can see how far you’ve come, which can help you stay motivated.

When you reach one of your savings milestones and see the money in your savings account, take a moment to congratulate yourself – and then use that momentum to keep going!

4. Review your budget and create a savings plan

How much do you need to save every week or month to meet your goal?

Once you have a number in mind, review your budget and pay attention to your discretionary expenses, where there could be opportunities to find savings.

For example, are there any unwanted or unused subscriptions you could cancel? Could you downgrade certain services (streaming, phone, etc.), so that you can upgrade your savings? 

Another good idea to keep in mind: If you received a tax refund or bonus at work this year, consider putting that money into your savings account to help you reach your goals faster. Remember, every little bit helps!

5. Automate your savings

If your bank offers this feature, think about setting up automatic deposits from your checking account into each of your savings accounts. Automating deposits is a great way to save without having to remember to do it yourself each month. What’s more, if you never “see” the money, you might not miss parting with it. You’re essentially funding your goals before you have a chance to spend that money on something else.

Bottom line: Saving money isn’t always easy – it takes time, patience and discipline. Automating your deposits can help you save consistently over time. If you get into the habit of putting a little aside each month, you’ll be surprised at just how quickly you could reach your goals.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice. Articles on this website were commissioned and approved by Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, but may not reflect the institutional opinions of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC or any of their affiliates, subsidiaries or divisions.