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5 steps to get your savings back on track

Despite the best intentions, almost everyone strays from their savings plan from time to time. The important thing is to stay positive and learn from your mistakes. This means thinking carefully about why you went astray in the first place, then finding a way to do things differently next time around.

Here's how to get back on track in five easy steps.

What makes you blow your budget? The reasons why will be different for everyone, so it’s worth taking a moment to figure out what causes you to overspend - a stressful day at work, an expensive night out with friends, or the popular ‘it was on sale’.

Knowing the reasons behind why you buy is an important part of changing your behaviour. You’ll be able to recognise when you’re about to overspend in the future and find ways to stay away from temptation.

Do you know what you're saving for? It can be tough to stay on track when there’s no end goal in sight. That’s why you need to be clear about your goals and make sure you're specific with how much you need and how long it will take to get there. Our savings calculator can help you with this.

Tip: be realistic when setting a time frame for your goals and make allowances in your budget to reward yourself for sticking to your plan. If you’re too strict with yourself, you may stray again.

It’s also a good idea to separate your goals into short and long term, and create a savings strategy for each.

So for goals you want to achieve in the next couple of years, like going on holiday or upgrading your car, you might choose a high-interest savings account. But for goals that will take years to reach, you might want to think longer term and put money into a term deposit or consider other investment options.

Straying from your savings goal is an opportunity to rethink your approach to saving. Only one in three people have a savings strategy to put aside small amounts of money on a regular basis, even though this is a very effective way to build savings over time.

Tip: If you’re saving larger amounts less frequently and you’re having trouble reaching your goals, it makes sense to set up a regular savings plan with smaller, more manageable amounts.

If you’re having trouble staying on track, remember you don’t have to do it alone. Our Savings Specialists are here to help you set achievable savings goals, as well as put a practical plan in place for you to reach them. Visit any branch to make an appointment today.

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Things you should know

 ¹ Medibank Health Check, 2014.

The advice on this website has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the advice, please consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. Please view our Financial Services Guide.

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