Most people have at least one financial goal. It could be a small one, like purchasing a rad new pair of sneakers, or a big one, like a wedding or purchasing a property.

Whatever your plans, reaching a financial goal is usually easier said than done.

If you've struggled to save in the past or can't resist the lure of a mid-year sale, don't worry because we've got you.

Follow these tips to get on the right track.

Set your goal

One of the first mistakes people make is not having a specific goal. After all, if you don't know exactly what you're hoping to achieve, how will you know when you achieve it?

Determine exactly how much you want to save and by when, but remember to make it achievable. Your savings plan shouldn't make you miserable.

Tell someone

Whether it's your mum, your straight-talking best friend, or your partner, just telling someone about your goal can help you reach it.

By verbalising what you want to achieve and telling someone else about it, the possibility becomes more real, and you'll feel more accountable.

Plus, it's nice to share the key milestones with another person and celebrate them - even if it's just a hug from your mum for saving your first $100!

Write it down

OK, you might think vision boards are basic, but the science behind them is real. Jot your dream holiday itinerary down in your journal, stick a picture of the car you want on your fridge, or write it in the fog on your bathroom mirror - however you choose to do it, just get it down somewhere.

You'll want to keep it somewhere that you can see it regularly, or at least when you feel you're getting off track. Take it out, look at it, visualise what it will be like when you reach your goal, and then keep going!

Use technology

Take advantage of tech to make your life easier. Many banking apps have features that help you budget, set goals and save money, and by utilising the technology in your pocket you're much more likely to succeed.

If you haven't already, download our mymo by BCU app. Not only can you set up budgets and get bill reminders, but you can also set goals and track your progress.

Plus, if you have bank accounts with different financial institutions, mymo can display them all in one place (thank you, Open Banking), so you can get a true overview of your finances. You might just find a way to reach your goals sooner!

Plan, plan, plan

You’ve probably heard this a million times before, but creating a budget really is the best way to get started. A budget can help you see where your money is actually going so you can identify the areas where you can redirect your spending and save more.

If you’re not sure where to start, check out our online budget planner calculator or a step-by-step guide to creating a budget.

Expect the unexpected

Take some time to think about what might stop you from achieving your goals, how you’ll handle setbacks, or what you’ll do if your goal timeline needs to be extended.

What if your car breaks down so you can’t save as much one month? Or your rent payments increase?

Consider adding a buffer into your budget or extending your timeline. Remember, your budget shouldn’t make you miserable and there’s no shame in having to make adjustments when life happens (we’ve all been there).

Make it easy

Digital banking makes saving money easy! Although having physical cash and hiding it away may work for some people, you can also do it all online or through a banking app – and there’s no risk of anyone finding your “car fund” and taking it.

Setting up automatic transfers from your everyday account to your savings account removes some of the mental load of remembering to save, and if you set up the transfer to happen on your payday, you’ll be less likely to spend it.

With BCU, you can save every time you spend, thanks to Pay&Save, the digital equivalent of tossing your loose coins (or small notes!) in a jar. It's automatic, convenient, and you’re even likely to forget about it until you see the difference it has made to your savings account balance. You’ll be on your way to buying that pair of shoes, a weekend away, or adding to your house deposit in no time at all.

Get your savings growing

It’s not just about the money you interest-earning savings account or a term deposit. Some savings accounts offer bonus interest, like our Bonus Saver account (which rewards you with bonus interest for the first four months) and iSaver account (which pays a higher rate of interest, the more you save).

If you’ve already managed to save a larger amount (kudos!) putting it away to earn interest in a term deposit could help make it easier to reach your goal. Term deposits ensure you receive a guaranteed return based on the amount you deposit and the applicable interest rate. Knowing exactly what your savings balance will be in 3 months, 12 months, or even 3 years’ time can make it easier to plan.

What are you waiting for?

If you’re still reading, you’re likely well on your way to achieving your financial goals sooner rather than later but, just in case you need some extra motivation, here are our top tips to get you started.

  • Paying off your debt first could help to reduce your monthly expenses and free up more money for saving. It’s also a great feeling when you make that last payment.
  • Consider ways to increase your income, such as starting a side hustle or asking for more hours at work (beware of burnout, though!).
  • Seek professional advice from a financial advisor. They can help you create a plan that is tailored to your unique needs and goals.
  • If you have multiple savings goals, try setting up multiple savings accounts so you have a clear idea on the progress for each of your goals. Reaching your smaller, short-term goals, like finally having enough to buy those new shoes (you know the ones!) can help motivate you to reach your long-term goals.
  • Regularly check in on your accounts and your spending habits. Making adjustments as you go can help you reach your goal sooner.

Remember to be patient and consistent in your efforts to save money – your budget shouldn’t feel like a punishment. It may take some time to reach your savings goals, but the rewards will be worth it in the long run.

And, if you need someone to get you back on track, your straight-talking best friend is always there to keep you accountable.

Banking products issued by Police & Nurses Limited (BCU Bank) ABN 69 087 651 876 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 240701.

Any advice does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Read the relevant Product Terms and Conditions, before acquiring products in considering and deciding whether it is right for you. The Target Market Determination (TMD) for Products are available on request.

Important information

Banking and Credit products issued by Police & Nurses Limited (BCU) ABN 69 087 651 876 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 240701. Any advice does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Read the relevant Product Terms and Condition, before acquiring this product in considering and deciding whether it is right for you. The Target Market Determination (TMD) for products is available on request. Lending criteria, terms & conditions, fees & charges apply.