How to Set and Reach Your Savings Goals

Setting specific goals is a great way to make sure that you're more focused on your spending and savings habits. When you have a specific goal in mind, it's easier to stay motivated when times get tough than if you're just distributing money into a bank account.

If you're just throwing your money into a current account and trying your hardest not to spend it, sometimes it can be tempting to simply withdraw that money and tell yourself that you're going to pay it back. On the other hand, if you know that every penny in your account has a purpose, you'll be less likely to use cash for different reasons. Here are a few tips to help you set and reach the right savings goals.

Choose a Reason for Saving Money

The first thing you need to do is figure out what you're saving money for. Though the simple purpose of trying to be more careful with your cash can be motivating enough for some people, others need a more short-term goal, like going on a family holiday, or replacing a kitchen.
If you're planning on saving as a couple or family, make sure that you sit down with the other people involved in your household to discuss the goals that will appeal most to all of you. Everyone needs to be committed to the same targets, otherwise your whole budget can dissolve into chaos. However, it is possible to have more than one goal, particularly if you have both long-term and short-term targets. 

Create Timelines for your Goals

When you've decided what you want to save for, and how much you need to save to reach your goals, it's time to start adding more depth to your saving strategy. Providing yourself with a timeline that tells you when you want to achieve your goals should help to give you additional motivation when you're struggling to accomplish your aims. Some timelines might be short-term, such as when you want to go on holiday next year, whereas others might be more vague. For instance, you might just want to save as much cash as you can before you reach retirement.
Although it might be impossible to give a solid end date to every goal, you should at least try to set benchmarks and milestone dates in place that will help to let you know whether you're moving in the right direction, at the right pace. For instance, you might decide that you want to have about £20,000 in your retirement account by the time you reach 30.

Look for Savings Money in your Monthly Budget

With the details of your savings goals laid out, you'll need to start looking for the money you need in your budget. Sometimes, it can feel practically impossible to find extra money for savings when you're struggling to make ends meet. However, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to cut costs that you may not have thought about yet. For instance, you can look into switching your providers for gas and electricity to a vendor with a better deal.
Alternatively, you can search for places where you can cut down your spending. For instance, you might be able to reduce the amount you spend on restaurant meals if you commit to eating at home more often and cooking your own food. You could also cut costs by getting rid of subscriptions you don't use - like gym memberships that sit in a drawer at home, gathering dust.

Get the Right Savings Tools

Finally, you'll need to make sure that you have the right resources to help with your savings strategy. For instance, you can download budgeting apps onto your phone that help you to track your spending habits and figure out where you're having the most trouble with your money. At the same time, it helps to make sure that you have the right account to make the most out of your money at the bank.
If you're thinking of saving money for a period of longer than 5 years, then you might consider looking at mutual funds, or you can search for a savings account with a high rate of return. Although interest rates on savings accounts aren't great right now, they can give you more than you would get by simply placing your money into a current account.
What's more, using a separate account for your savings means that you'll be less tempted to tap into the money you save, because you won't see it on your statement every month.

This is a collaborative post 

Adventure - Just add child

I was not looking forward to the weekend. And I felt bad about it. Because two days with my child would be joyful, would it not? It was supposed to be joyful. Everyone says it is J.O.Y.F.U.L. I was not full of joy, I was full of dread. The weekend meant two days listening to the Paw Patrol theme tune and rescuing my flat deposit from the the reckless hands of a small child; a weekend meant the same arguments about bedtime and peas, I didn't want the same. I knew I needed something else and so I found it. I scoured Google for last minute breaks. I managed to narrow it down with the logic that when you live by a beach the next best thing is a sandy beach and booked a room at the nearest one - Pontins, Camber Sands. 

Roscoe was so excited. We've recently added the book 'Maisy Goes on Holiday' to our library. Maisy is a mouse of undetermined age, who attends nursery but is also a home owner and in this particularly book she is in need of a minibreak. I told Roscoe we were going to pack a bag and catch a train and go to the beach. 'Just like Maisy!' He cried. Indeed, just like Maisy. 

Except not like Maisy because her train wasn't cancelled but determination and a non refundable room rate had us hopping on and off trains along the coast. We made the last connection, an hourly service to our destination, with seconds to spare. As our train pulled in I clutched Roscoe's hand and said, 'We have to run.' 

'Like the gingerbread man?' He asked. Yes, just like that. And we ran and jumped on and fell about giggling with 'just made the train' exhiliration. 

'We're having an adventure,' said Roscoe and we were, we totally were. Cause an adventure is anything that takes you out of your routine; an adventure is being willing to go with whatever is thrown at you. Anytime you need an adventure - just add child. 

Pontins, Camber Sands is the resort that time forgot. It definitely needed a lick of paint and maybe a bulldozer but to Roscoe it might as well have been a five star hotel - with his own new bed and a teeny fridge for our sausage roll dinner, it was the height of luxury. After we had unpacked he asked for a cake and some sweets; automatically I told him to choose one but then I reconsidered because this was an adventure. Could he have the tacky windmill and cheap bucket and spade? Yes! Could he have ice cream? Yes! Could he watch TV after dinner? Why not?! We spent hours digging holes in the sand and we didn't bathe and we ate chocolate muffins for breakfast and it was wonderful. And what was so wonderful about it was it made me remember that we didn't need to go away to get away from it all - we can turn off Paw Patrol and discover somewhere new in our home town; we can have muffins for breakfast whenever we please. Life can always be an adventure.