I’ve always been saving for something.
In junior high school, I would save my weekly allowance to buy DVDs to grow my home movie collection. In high school, my parents wouldn’t get me a phone, so I saved up for my own, and saved up each month to pay for the bill. One year, I saved to pay my own way to California and Las Vegas (my family didn’t want to go, so I went with friends!) and during and immediately after post-secondary, I saved and paid off my student loans!
There’s something very personally fulfilling about working towards a goal and achieving it—no matter what the goal.
That’s why I can really get on board with ATB Financial’s “What Are You Saving For?” Contest.
You just need to tell ATB what your savings goals are, either on the Facebook post above, or on their website and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a ton of cash (up to $10,000!!!!) to help get you closer to your goals!!
Today, I’d say my savings are split into a few buckets.
Mike and I are saving for our next home (which will likely be our ‘forever’ home). We’re looking for something with a bigger yard for our dogs (aren’t they adorable?) and a future family down the road. We’re also saving for some big trips (we have a special trip planned for our 5-year wedding anniversary, which is coming up this fall, plus some other vacations in between). Honestly, we’re just saving for the sake of having a healthy savings (because who doesn’t like seeing a solid bank account balance?)
Note: I also save to eat because I love to eat out, lol.
We’re still pretty basic when it comes to saving though. We set aside some money each paycheque, but don’t do much else beyond that. We’re pretty risk adverse when it comes to our money, so although I’ve gotten some great investment tips from ATB recently, we still haven’t dived into the investing deep end.
Baby steps though.
One of those steps includes sitting down with Chris Turchansky, ATB Financial’s President of Investor Services, to get some savings tips from him!
ATB is holding a Facebook Live “What Are You Saving For?” Q&A with Investor Services President Chris Turchansky on February 22, 2018 at 7 p.m.
I’ve partnered with ATB to host this Facebook Live, which will focus on tips to help everyday Albertans can work towards their dreams. I’m excited to get and share some tips from Chris during the Facebook Live (be sure to watch ATB Financial’s Facebook Page for details!) but he was also kind enough to answer a few questions I had in advance of the Facebook Live.
Below gives you just a taste of the great advice Chris will share on Feb. 22!
Advice for Successful Saving
What would be better for saving — saving towards a specific purchase or having a general savings built up? Should there be both?
Chris: The most important thing is to start building the discipline of saving money. Saving for a specific goal gives you something tangible to save towards, which creates the discipline (and the excitement) required to put money away. By practicing this, you form the understanding that your decision to forgo a purchase today will enable you to reap the rewards of purchasing something in the future like a vacation or a new car. Building up your savings also allows you the peace of mind to apply your savings to a variety of things, such as an emergency fund to pay for expenses that can be more difficult to afford if you don’t have savings on hand.
Sometimes you see online things that say if you’re this age, you should have this much saved up, is there merit to that type of thinking? If someone doesn’t have X amount saved by X age— are they hooped?
Chris: This rule of thumb is good because it provides a quick comparison. The challenge is, this comparison doesn’t take into account your individual and unique set of life circumstances, which can cause you to think it is too late to start saving or if you have more saved than the age comparison, it might lead you to think you have over-saved and cause you to stop. It’s important to start saving as early as possible, but in reality that’s not always possible. Don’t be discouraged and remember it is never too late to start saving. Your savings shouldn’t be compared to anyone else; rather, understand your own goals and needs, and define a savings plan that best suits you
Chris: Make your goal real. Anytime you are saving for a goal in the future, it’s important to try and bring that goal to life. Write your goal down or cut out a picture and have it with you on your phone or in your wallet. That way, when the temptation to spend money presents itself, you are able to focus on what you are saving for. Also, set realistic goals. A great comparison is trying lose 20 pounds by cutting out half the calories you currently eat. This will never get you the results you are hoping for. Saving is no different. You have to find the right balance to saving that provides you with flexibility to live your life today, while saving responsibly for your dream purchase.
I hope you’ll tune into the Facebook Live on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. to learn even more about savings from Chris, and I definitely encourage you to enter ATB’s ‘What Are You Saving For?’ contest too.
I’d also love to hear what you’re saving for, and whatever tips you have to stay on track with your savings and goals! Send me a note on social media, or leave a comment below!
Disclaimer: I will always provide my 100% honest opinion on this blog. I partnered with ATB Financial to help promote their What Are You Saving For? contest through this blog and social media posts. I’ll also be hosting upcoming What Are You Saving For? Facebook Live event. This does not impact the opinions stated in this post. I’m all for increasing financial literacy and helping Albertans achieve their dreams!