The Everygirl 30 Day Challenge: Building Your Savings

In January we partnered with Skillshare to learn new skills we’ve always envied. Now these new talents are well on their way to becoming some of our most impressive assets. You started paving the way toward life-long hobbies, so keep it up! And let us know what you’re learning.

This month we are focusing on an important aspect of your future: finances. We’re fully aware that financial recognition can be an overwhelming task to conquer, but reallocating funds for something like a vacation or down payment can be much more manageable if you approach it with a plan.

The first step in meeting any target for a budget is to evaluate current spending. Start by taking a good look at where your money ends up and consider what is realistic to set aside for the things you have planned. No, we mean really look at it—both eyes open and without attempting to justify all those trips to Target for toothpaste (and/or a new sweater, pillow set, Nate Berkus statue, and three tropical candles).

Once you evaluate where you stand, it’s a matter of putting your plans into action.

A few ways to get started:

Set a goal: Plan a specific savings goal for each month, week, or day to stay on track with making your budget come to fruition. If you have a deadline, you’re more likely to stick to it—as opposed to saving without a specific timeline in mind.

Open a savings account: Savings accounts without a particular goal can easily be used as a back-up for overdraft fees. Now that you have an idea of how you want to put this money to use, begin contributing to it regularly. Create recurring deposits—they are an easy way to start saving without doing anything. Some banks will let you set up transfers that can occur on a specific date for whatever amount you choose.

Track spending: Using apps like Mint and LevelMoney are great ways to track your spending (even from your phone). They give helpful snapshots of where your money is going to and Mint even alerts you when you’re approaching a budget cap that you designated (in each category).

Meet with a planner: If you’ve tried all the above before, it could be worth meeting with a planner to talk about what your weaknesses are and how to edit your income so your plans stay in place. They’re knowledgeable and full of advice that can help you start to realize actual financial growth.

A few past articles to help:

7 Financial Resolutions You Should Make in 2016
How to Set Financial Goals that Stick
5 Easy Ways to Save More Money

Saving for fun activities or down payments on important purchases doesn’t have to be an all or nothing game; it’s a matter of consistency, time, and planning. Now that we have an outline for simple ways to get started and maintain savings, it’s time to put the plan into place for things to start building.

Throughout the month we’ll share our savings tips, but let us know how building your piggy bank is going and what advice you have. Make sure to tag your progress updates with #TEG30DayChallenge.

So tell us, what long-term investments are you saving for? What are your best tips for getting started?