Do you have a trip on your bucket list or a pricey item on your wish list? Like with everything else in life, success is only achieved by developing a clear plan and executing it. Wish lists and bucket lists can serve as a source for inspiration, but concrete plans can actually serve as motivation. Follow these recommendations from the financial experts to develop a short term savings plan that will allow you to fulfill the goals on your wish lists. Realize that a certain amount of self-discipline is required to reach any goal. Often times, this self-discipline means experiencing a modicum of self-sacrifice. This is so commonly referred to as short term pain for long term gain.
If your short term goal is to accumulate savings large enough to enjoy a trip on your bucket list, this sum needs to be clearly defined. Spend time doing basic research to determine the realistic amount you need to save for travel expenses, accommodations, dining and experiences. Add ten percent to this figure. When do you want to take this trip? Set a date. Every goal needs a starting point and a completion date. This is the only way to make it realistic. Determine the number of weeks between now and your desired departure date. Divide the sum of savings needed by the number of weeks remaining to reach your goal. This is the sum that needs to be saved each month.
These savings can come from two places. The first place is to reduce your weekly discretionary spending and earmark the savings to your savings account. This may mean forgoing gym memberships, dinners out and generous gift giving. Remind yourself that this short term sacrifice is what is necessary to reach your goal. Take advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and invest in an activity tracker from Garmin to serve as a much cheaper alternative to expensive gym memberships. Pack you lunch each day instead of dining out with coworkers or friends. Rent a movie instead of heading to the theater. These short term, small, changes in discretionary spending choices can add up to big savings in a short period of time. You’ve determined the amount of savings needed each week to reach your goals.
The alternative to reducing discretionary spending and earmarking the savings to a savings account is to secure a part time job to supplement your income. Earmark the earnings form your part time position towards your savings goal. In no time you will be booking that flight for the trip on your bucket list!