Set Goals to Save More
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What do you want to save for? Whether it's a new computer or a down payment, learn a simple system that can help make it happen.

When you are writing down your savings goals:
You can only save for one thing at a time.
Setting a time frame for your goals will:
What should you do if you experience a savings setback?
When it comes to saving, what’s a foolproof way to combat wavering willpower?

Right!

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The “Do It Free” Challenge

Saving money doesn’t mean you have to give up your life. Sometimes it just takes a little ingenuity. Think about things you like to do and spend money on—whether it’s trying new foods or going out to hear live music. Then find ways to do them for little or no money. Check out Anna’s “56 Free Things to Do” for inspiration. You’ll be surprised at how creative you can get.

READ ANNA’S LIST

Session Q & A

  • Remember, it is possible to save for multiple things at once–including paying off debt. It all depends on your priorities. If you have a high interest rate on your credit cards, are carrying a substantial balance or even if your debt really bothers you, you may want to consider paying it off first. On the other hand, if you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to a faraway land, you might want to take it. Write down the pros and cons and make a decision. You may decide that you can find a way to do both.

  • If you’re saving for short-term goals (things that you’ll accomplish within a year or so) you’ll probably want to keep your money in a safe, liquid account. Look for one that pays at least a little interest, because every little bit adds up. Some savings and money market accounts offer a higher rate if you keep a higher balance. But be sure to find out about any fees and any minimum balance requirements. CDs are another option for short-term or long-term savings goals. They pay a fixed interest rate based on the terms, which vary from 7 days to 10 years. But if you want to get the money out early, you may pay a penalty. So check the terms.

  • If you’re saving for a future goal—like opening a business, a down payment on a house or even retirement—you may want the potential to grow your savings by investing. Just make sure your investments are appropriate for your goals. See the Get More Comfortable with Investing video for some tips.

  • It’s true what they say. The earlier you start saving for retirement, the better. So saving for retirement should always be one of the goals you are working on. Make retirement savings part of your regular budget. Then work your other savings goals around it. For more thoughts on retirement savings, check out the Maximize Your Retirement Savings video.

  • There are many benefits of linking your checking account to your savings account. You can set up regular automatic transfers from checking to savings—every month or every paycheck, for example. Plus, if you ever have extra money in your checking account, moving it to savings couldn’t be easier. On the other hand, your money can go both ways. Just make sure you can resist the urge to transfer money from savings to checking to pay for things you don’t really need—like a nice dinner out or a pair of shoes you can’t resist.

Anna Newell Jones

Anna is a photographer who racked up substantial debt from credit cards and loans from family. In 2009, she began her Spending Fast® and Spending Diet plan, and managed to pay off almost $24,000 in debt in 15 months. She started the blog And Then We Saved to share her strategies with others. She has been quoted in publications including Self, US News and the Chicago Tribune, and has appeared on CNN Money and HLN Network. She lives in Denver with her husband Aaron.

Anna is a photographer who racked up substantial debt from credit cards and loans from family. In 2009, she began her Spending Fast® and Spending Diet plan, and managed to pay off almost $24,000 in debt in 15 months. She started the blog And Then We Saved to share her strategies with others. She has been quoted in publications including Self, US News and the Chicago Tribune, and has appeared on CNN Money and HLN Network. She lives in Denver with her husband Aaron.

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