It’s exciting to set a savings goal. But if you actually want to reach your goal, you’ve got to have a plan. Your saving schedule is your plan. This is the exact process that I followed to create my saving schedule that I used to save $25,000 for my wedding in 18 months! Follow these steps to create a simple, easy to stick to saving schedule!
HOW TO CREATE A MONEY SAVING SCHEDULE YOU CAN STICK TO
This post will guide you step-by-step through creating a money saving schedule of your own. This process will absolutely help you save money, you just have to follow it.
The first thing I want to tell you…
Don’t be overwhelmed by the math involved!
You don’t need to tackle it all at once.
Take it step by step.
Bookmark or Pin this page so you can come back when you are ready to move on to the next step.
Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor. I’m a former paycheck-to-paycheck spendaholic who transformed my financial situation by taking control of my money. I am sharing with you exactly what I did to fix my finances in the hopes that it may be helpful to you. If I can do it, I really believe that you can too!
- Read: How to Set Achievable Financial Goals to help you set a savings goal.
STEP 1: WORK BACKWARDS
The best way to create a plan that you can stick to is to work backwards.
Before you can create your savings plan, you need to determine how much money you need and the end date for when you want to have it saved.
All you need to do is some simple math to figure out how much you’ll need to save per week.
You’ll take the total amount that you want to save and divide it by how many weeks you have to save it.
That’s just an easy example. Plug in your own information to the formula above to figure out how much you need to save each week to meet your goal.
Okay, I know how much I need to save each week. Now what?
STEP 2: GOLDILOCKS
You don’t want to end up reaching for a goal that is too hard (or even too easy).
What you want is to start with a goal that is just right from the start.
You need to figure out if it is reasonable for you to save that amount within the time frame that you’ve set.
You want to set yourself up to be successful here!
Most importantly, you want your savings schedule to be attainable.
It should be challenging enough to keep focused but not so challenging that it doesn’t seem possible.
You’re going to need to do a little more math.
Calculate your total monthly take-home income.
An easy way to do this is just to add up your take-home pay from the previous month.
If you are saving with your spouse, include both of your incomes.
Then make a simple list of all of your necessary expenses.
This list should include every payment that is essential to keeping your family going.
Here is a sample list:
- Utilities (Gas and Water)
- Debt Payments (Credit Cards, Car Loans, Student Loans, Etc.)
- Groceries (Average what you usually spend per month. Look back at receipts or debit/credit card statements)
- Phone Bill
Of course, phone and internet may not be essential, that’s your personal choice.
Customize this example to list all payments that are essential to your family and list an estimated monthly total next to each one. If the cost varies, overestimate the amount.
Note: Check out my post 39 Surefire Strategies to cut your Expenses Fast. These ideas could help you lower those monthly expenses, and in turn free up more money that you can save!
While you are making this list, it might be a good time to think about monthly expenses that you’re paying for that are not essential and you may want to cancel.
Think: the gym membership you never use, the cable you never watch, or the landscaping services that you could be doing yourself.
Okay, now that you know your monthly income and the cost of your essential monthly expenses, you’re almost there!
Let’s figure out how much money is available for you to save.
Subtract your essential monthly expenses from your monthly income and what you will be left with are your available funds. Like this:
I think it is much easier to understand where my money is going when I look at it weekly instead of monthly.
So, I really recommend breaking this down just a little bit further and dividing your available funds up by weeks.
Just take your available funds total and divide it by 4 (since there are usually 4 weeks in a month).
This will tell you your weekly available funds.
So how much can I save?
STEP 3: DECIDE ON YOUR NUMBER
Now it is time for you to look at everything you’ve done so far.
Consider your weekly available funds, and decide on a reasonable amount that you can save each week.
This is going to depend on your individual circumstances. But understand that you probably can’t save all of your available money.
I encourage you to set an attainable goal of saving half of your available funds each week.
STEP 4: SCHEDULE IT OUT
You have done all the math! Great job! It wasn’t that hard, was it?
Now, write an actual schedule for yourself.
Write it in a way that works for you.
You can write it in a notebook, or a word document, or on an actual calendar.
Grab your printable saving schedule here and get on your way to reaching your financial goals.
Psst… Want to save even more? Hop on my email list here. It’s my favorite place to give you money saving tips and insights that I just don’t share anywhere else. Plus you’ll get lots of free financial tools just for signing up.