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Short term vs. long term savings goals, and how you can have both!

Saving money is an essential part of living a healthy and balanced life, but funnily enough it’s something we’re never really taught properly at school. But it’s never too late to get started. So, we’re sharing some of our best tips and savings solutions straight from our experienced UBank team, to help you become a saving superstar.

Often the word ‘saving’ comes with a groan because it’s viewed as a chore or an inconvenience. When you start thinking about how to balance your long-term goals (that all important superannuation fund or being able to support your kids’ education) with your short-term goals (weddings, holidays, first home), it can all become a little overwhelming.

But the good news is successfully turning your money dreams into a reality doesn’t have to be hard, it just needs to become a habit.

Saving for the short term

For short-term goals, we’re talking about something that’s in the 1 to 5 years range. ‘Rainy day savings’ is a key short-term goal for a lot of people to give them an emergency buffer when the unexpected happens. But lifestyle is also important! Whether you like to enjoy a yearly overseas trip or you’re saving for something special like getting married or a home deposit, it’s all about figuring out your personal priorities.

UBank tips for short-term wins

  • Piggy bank: “I keep all my change in a jar and I DON’T touch it. At the end of the year I end up banking between $2,000 - $3,000 in cash.”
  • Winter warrior: “I try and save throughout winter to allow me to live like a millionaire in summer.”
  • High interest savings: “Set up a separate account for your savings that you can’t access as easily as your everyday account and watch your holiday money grow.”

Long-term saving goals

These are the meatier goals that are going to set you and your loved ones up for the future (we’re talking decades). Think paying for your kids’ education or moving to Byron Bay debt-free when you retire. This is where looking at bigger investments, like property, or managed funds comes in. There’s more time to ride out the market highs and lows, building wealth slowly but surely.

UBank tips for the long game

  • Engage the whole family in the goal: “Your kids want that beach house too, right?”
  • Consistency is key: “Be patient, building a habit takes time. But once you see your savings rise and your goal become closer to reality, it’s far easier to keep saving.”
  • Super contributions: “Opting to add a little bit extra to your super means you’re slowly but surely adding to your retirement nest egg.”

What are you saving for? No matter what your goal is, or whether you’ve got multiple goals you’re striving for at the same time, one final UBanker recommends following 4 neat steps:

  • Step 1: Set realistic targets you can achieve.
  • Step 2: Every 6 months, review what you actually spend to live comfortably (and save the rest).
  • Step 3: Set a weekly budget.
  • Step 4: Track your spending.

One great way of doing this? Using a money-tracking app. There’s nothing quite like a dynamic visual showing you getting closer to your goal, which is why people love using our in-app tool, Free2Spend. It not only sets daily spend budgets that change based on your spending patterns but it also encourages you as you approach your savings goal.