One of the hardest barriers to overcome when starting a saving program is seeing the end goal as achievable
By setting reasonable benchmarks during your savings plan, you can break down your goal into smaller pieces.
Consider how a runner might plan to be ready to participate in a marathon.
Running 26.2 miles is an enormous goal, and can appear daunting to even a casual jogger. Certainly someone wouldn’t just show up on race day without training and run the race!
However, setting up a training program like this one from RunnersWorld.com breaks down the preparation into smaller, more manageable steps. By following this plan, you might be able to reach your goal of finishing a marathon.
In the same way, you can set up a plan to meet your end goal of saving money.
Here’s an example of how you can model your savings plan after a marathon runner’s training program.
- Goal: $1,000 saved in one year
- $1,000 in one year = $19.25 per week
As we outlined in our discussion regarding online banking features a couple weeks ago, you can set up automatic transfers from one account to another. By setting up a weekly transfer of $19.25 into a savings account, you can discipline yourself and have the money set aside for your goal.
Any runner will tell you that there are setbacks along their journey, and there will undoubtedly be moments during your savings plan that make putting money aside each week a struggle. If a runner misses a day or gets hurt, they have to work hard to make up for the lost training time. So, too, will you need to put in some extra effort if there is a week along the way that you need to use the money planned for savings when a life event requires it.
Seeing is believing, so creating a guide to track your progress is also important. As the marathon plan told runners to “track your fitness and gain confidence,” you should track your progress and gain confidence as well. We outlined some ways that you can set up a daily/weekly/monthly savings plan earlier in July that can help you to visualize your goals.
For a marathon runner, there is no greater joy than crossing the finish line and reaching their ultimate goal. But they wouldn’t get there without a plan.
In a year, you could feel a similar excitement when you reach your goal of saving a specific dollar amount. By putting a plan in place, tracking your progress, and staying on course, you could reach the finish line, too!