Most financial goals are not easily reached. It takes hard work and most of all, time, to complete them. While it’s easy to start working on a financial goal with zest and ambition, after a little while it’s common for that feeling to wear off.
In fact, when you’re doing the same things month after month to reach a goal that feels so far away it can be easy to get bored with what you’re doing.
Here’s what to do when you lose steam.
Celebrate Where You’re At
Take time and celebrate the progress you’ve already made! This doesn’t mean going out and spending a boatload of money if you’re working on a financial goal. It could be having a special dinner with your significant other or simply taking the time to pause and reflect.
Seeing how far you’ve already come can motivate you to keep going.
Take a Break
Burnout is a real thing. And sometimes the only remedy is a small break.
If you feel like you’re on the cusps of burnout it’s okay to take a small time-out from your goal. Just be sure that your break won’t undo any of the progress you’ve made so far.
Set a Short Term Goal
Sometimes it’s not ALL goals you lose motivation over, just the ones that have long-term deadlines. Break down your long-term goal into a series of small goals and see if that helps.
For instance if your goal is to save $50,000 in two years for a down payment you may be better off focusing on the monthly goal of saving $2,100. Putting your energy on the monthly goal can help keep your motivation high.
Imagine How it Will Feel Once You’re Goal is Accomplished
Sometimes when the journey gets tough it’s important to visualize what the destination will feel like. Think of what will happen when you finally reach your goal. Will you have a fully-funded emergency fund? Be able to buy a house? Pay off those last bit of student loans?
Think of that outcome every time you feel like giving up.
Write Your Goals Down Often
It’s scientifically proven that those who write their goals down are far more likely to achieve them than those who don’t. While you should already have your goals written out you can take it a step further by writing your goals down every morning.
To do this simply get a cheap notebook or use your planner and write down your goals at the beginning of each day.
Use a Vision Board
If you’re a visual person perhaps creating a vision board can help you keep motivation. You can this do by piecing together motivational pictures, creating a Pinterest board dedicated to your goal or using a site like DreamItAlive.
More Tips for Accomplishing Your Savings Goals
It’s possible that your problem is not motivation but strategy. When it comes to accomplishing savings goals different strategies work for different people. Here are some things to try:
Automate – The only way I’ve been able to continually achieve my savings goals is through the use of automation. I have money automatically deposited into my savings account each month. Since I don’t ever see the money I don’t even think about.
You can achieve this by having money automatically deducted from your checking to your savings each month or by having your employer take money from your paycheck and put it into savings.
Find More Money in Your Budget – Go through your budget and eliminate any unnecessary expenses. (Replacing an expensive phone plan with a cheap one, for example.) Then put the money you’ve saved toward your goal each month.
Use an App – There are some pretty cool apps available that are meant to help you save. Two I like are Digit and Acorns. (Read more about them here.)
Save Specific Income Streams – If you have more than income stream (say, a day job and a freelance side hustle) save the smaller of the two income streams.
You could also start a side hustle and save all that money to meet your goal faster.
Use a Savings Challenges – If you want to get a bit more creative you can take part in one of the many savings challenges. These will have you do various tasks from saving a certain amount per week to saving all of your $5 bills. Here’s a list of challenges.
Do What You Need to Do
If you decide that the best thing for you is to take a little break to regain steam, then by all means do it. Don’t feel guilty for doing what feels right to you. Take your time, think it through, re-strategize and then get back on board.
What do you do when you lose motivation for your savings goals?