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Why you should use a Savings Tracker for your Goals
When my husband and I were paying off our $266,000 debt, we used a debt tracker visual aid so we could see our mortgage pay-off progress. No matter how big or small your savings goal is, having a visual aid is critical for keeping you inspired and motivated!
As a result of my financial freedom journey, I created a free savings tracker that you can use for any goal. I divided the total savings goal into 100 hexagons that you can color in, and celebrate each time you fill one in. Every time you have reached an additional 10% of your goal, you can color ! Sign up now for the best free savings tracker to help you achieve your goals!
How do you use a Savings Tracker
Once you have downloaded your savings tracker, let’s talk about how to use it successfully.
Establish your Savings Goal
There are two things that need to be clearly defined when you set your goal.
Things to save for
The first thing to establish is what are you saving for? Here are some examples of things to save for:
*Home down payment
*New (preferably used) car
Write down what you are saving for in the box next to “Saving for”.
How much are you Saving?
The second thing to establish is how much are you saving? $1,000, $5,000, $25,000? Take some time, and do some research so that you set a realistic monetary goal. Set yourself up for success by making sure your goal will give you some wiggle room.
Once you have calculated how much you will save, write it down next to “Saving total.”
Fill in the Hexagons and Percentages as you go
Now that you have established your total savings amount, divide that number by 100, and fill-in the dollar amount that each hexagon represents for your tracker. For example, if you are saving $10,000, each hexagon will represent $100.
The percentages is another accomplishment to celebrate on your savings journey! If you are saving a total of $10,000, divide that amount by 10, and you have $1,000. Each time you save another $1,000, write down the amount, and also when you achieved that goal. Don’t forget to celebrate your successes by having a glass of apple cider, a piece of chocolate, or doing a happy dance in your kitchen!
Post your Savings Tracker Somewhere Highly Visible
This is incredibly important! Keeping your savings tracker somewhere visible will serve as a constant reminder of the progress you are making! My husband and I kept our debt tracker in our bedroom. It was the first thing I saw in the morning, and the last thing I saw before going to sleep. Seeing it was a constant reminder that we were making progress, and that it was a new day to work towards our goal!
Some ideas of where you can post your Savings Tracker
How to Budget for your Savings
Now that you have established what you are saving for, and the amount you will be saving, let’s talk about how you will be budgeting for your savings.
I have written a post detailing our budgeting process and how anyone can apply it to their specific needs. I’ve also written a detailed post about budget categories. I would establish your specific savings budget category as soon as possible, this will allow you plenty of time to achieve your goal without having to go into debt.
Practical ways to Save Money for your Goals
There are many ways you can save money for your goals! Here are some of my favorite recommendations:
Sell Things you no longer need!
I LOVE selling clothes and shoes on the app, Mercari!!! It’s incredibly easy: they email you the postage, and all you have to do is package your items, apply the postage they send you, and place the package in your mailbox.
I have also used Craigslist to sell bigger items that I don’t want to ship such as furniture and strollers.
Offer up has been recommended to me as well, although I have yet to try it.
Facebook marketplace has great resources where you can sell your used items locally! I participate in at least 4 different local groups where people post their gently used items for sale!
Pick up Shifts or a Side Hustle
I know that not all of you have the opportunity to pick up extra shifts at your place of employment, but if you do, that’s the first place I would start!
If you don’t have the opportunity to pick up shifts, I would look into picking up a side hustle! Some examples of things you can do:
*Become an Uber or Lyft Driver: This is convenient because it’s completely flexible around your schedule!
*Take surveys with Swagbucks and get cash or gift cards.
* Use Ebates when shopping online and get cashback for purchases.
*Become a Driver for Door Dash and work around your own schedule!
*Apply to VIPKid, and Teach English online to kids in China if you have a Bachelor’s degree.
*If you love dogs, sign up to walk dogs with the Wag or Rover app
* Babysit for people in your community, or sign up to baby sit for the Bambino App
*Get a roommate, or rent out an extra room by using Airbnb.
*If you have any skills in business, being a virtual assistant, web design, graphic design, video and animation, digital marketing, writing and translation, or any other computer-related technical skills? If so, offer your services on Fiverr, an online marketplace that connects you to people and businesses that you can partner with.
No matter what you choose to earn extra income, make sure that you have a specific plan for that income. For example, we are hoping to cash flow the majority of the cost of a Disney Cruise, for next year. In order to do this, I’m saving every dollar earned from selling items on Mercari, and assigning it to my “Disney Cruise” budget category.
Savings Tracker Apps
There are several apps you can consider if you don’t want a printable savings tracker:
YNAB (You Need a Budget)
I rave about YNAB, because, quite frankly, I love them so much! This is the app that my husband and I have been using for the past 8 years, and we have never looked back! They have all kinds of tools built into their software to help keep you on track for your savings goals.
Other savings apps that I have heard good things about, but have never used include: Twine, Acorns, Mint, and Quickbooks.
Debt Tracker Printable
I hope to make a specific “debt tracker printable” in the future, but you can use my savings tracker in the meantime. The only thing that would change is that instead of writing down how much you are saving for, write down how much debt you are paying off. Divide your total debt by 100, fill out the hexagon key, and you are golden!
When I do create a debt tracker printable, I will be updating this section with a link to my debt tracker printable. Etsy also offers a wide variety of debt trackers that you can choose from in the meantime.
Savings Tracker Printable
If you are looking for something a little different, there are various savings tracker printables offered for free, and for a fee on the internet. A quick search on Etsy will pull up a variety of different savings tracker printables.
I designed my savings tracker printable to be fun, modern, and to give you lots of opportunities to celebrate your micro-savings (by having 100 hexagons to fill in, and by filling in the percentages). Eventually, I will also design different savings trackers for specific goals (like saving up for a wedding, vacation, or home down payment).
DIY Savings Tracker
When my husband and I were paying off our debt, we created our own visual aid. My husband and mother-in-law, used fabric, felt, and some sewing to make our debt tracker. Since we were using our visual aid as a debt tracker, we would remove a piece of felt every time we paid off $5,000.
We also took it a step further, and took pictures with our visual aid every month, and the progress we made written on paper. When we became debt-free, I made a photo album of all of our progress pictures we had taken and gave it to my husband as a gift. I still get teary-eyed when I revisit the book and remember all the sacrifices we went through during that time, but also rejoice in achieving our debt free journey.
Let me know what you think of the savings tracker, and what are you saving for in the comments!
Thanks for stopping by!!!!