Ways to Save Money for a Financial Goal in 5 Steps That Everyone Can Do\r\nBy Julie Jaggernath\r\n\r\nIs there something you\u2019d like to buy but can\u2019t afford right now? Maybe you want to take a trip, do some home renovations or are anticipating a large expense. If thinking about how much it will cost (and how you\u2019ll pay your credit cards off afterwards) sends shivers up your spine, keep reading. There are ways to save money successfully, and it all starts with a plan.\r\n\r\nIf you just want some tips about how to save money each week, jump down to step 2.\r\nIf you want ideas for how to increase your household income, jump down to step 3.\r\nTo find out how to keep your money safe from yourself, jump down to step 4.\r\nTo learn more tips and about savings \u201cbest practices\u201d, jump down to step 5.\r\nSet a financial goal to save money for a trip or vacation.For a step-by-step plan to set yourself up for success, here\u2019s how to start:\r\n\r\nBefore You Start Saving, Set a Specific Goal\r\nBefore you start, decide what your goal is; how much do you need to save? Maybe you want to have $3500 available 12 months from now. Be realistic and specific. Your goal must also fit your budget. We all know that spending is much more fun than saving, so one of the best ways to make saving easy, is to make it fun and as painless as possible.\r\n\r\nWith that in mind, here are 5 steps that will get you started saving for your goal:\r\n\r\nStep 1: Break Your Goal Down Into Bite-Size Chunks\r\nThe bigger the goal, the more psychologically painful it will seem to achieve. Break it down into monthly or weekly amounts that are easy to picture. For example, to save $3500 in 12 months, that means saving $292 a month or about $70 a week.\r\n\r\nIf you have kids or teens, involve them in the discussions about how you can achieve this goal. So many families don\u2019t talk about money, and certainly don\u2019t involve their kids in financial discussions and goal setting. By involving your children in a meaningful way you\u2019re teaching them how to save for what they want and need. One of the biggest reasons people end up in trouble with debt is that they never learned how to budget and save for what they want.\r\n\r\nStep 2: Decide Specifically What You Can Do to Save Towards Your GoalSet a savings goal and measure your progress as you look for ways to achieve your goal.\r\nOnce your goal is broken down, decide specifically what you can do to achieve it. If it\u2019s a family goal, each family member should choose their task, how they will save a part of the weekly or monthly goal.\r\n\r\nSome ideas for how to save $70 each week include:\r\n\r\nSave $10 by making your own bottled water ($2\/bottle x 5 days)\r\nSave $20 by bagging your lunch 2 \u2013 3 days a week\r\nSave $25 by cancelling a utility service that you don\u2019t really need to use right now, e.g. cable or satellite TV\r\nSave $5+ by scaling back a cell phone plan to what you\u2019re actually using\r\nSave $5+ by buying generic brands at the grocery store\r\nSave $3 by avoiding the vending machine or corner store\r\nSave $25+ by eating\/going out less often in the month\r\nSave $3+ by driving a bit less, e.g. combine several stops rather than running each errand separately\r\nSave $5+ by planning your grocery shopping and making a list, rather than stopping at the grocery store every day to pick up what\u2019s needed for dinner (plus an impulse buy or three)\r\nSave $5+ by suspending your e-reader subscription temporarily or by switching over to borrowing e-books from your local library\r\nSave $2+ by buying fewer apps or making fewer in-app purchases\r\nIf you\u2019ve got kids \u201chelping\u201d you when you shop, you may not realize how much their wishes and wants influence your spending choices and impact your budget. One big contribution kids can make is in the form of a commitment to not ask their parents to spend money every time they go out. If you\u2019ve got kids, you know how often they ask for fast food, extra snacks at the grocery store, to go to the mall\u2026. It all adds up and impulse spending quickly takes you further away from your goal.\r\n\r\nCleaning out the garge to earn some money.\r\n\r\nStep 3: If Spending Less and Reducing Your Expenses Isn\u2019t Enough, Find Ways to Earn More\r\nLuckily, saving for a goal doesn\u2019t only mean spending less and reducing expenses, because sometimes that isn\u2019t possible. Finding ways to top up a savings account can also mean earning more money, or doing a combination of both.\r\n\r\nAs you look for ways to earn money, keep in mind that this may be a temporary commitment and that you don\u2019t want to take on more extra work than you can reasonably handle. If you have teens, helping them find ways to earn income happens to also be a great way for them to gain valuable financial skills.\r\n\r\nIdeas for how to increase income include:\r\n\r\nDoing some house or yard cleaning for someone else\r\nGetting a paper route\r\nPicking up an extra shift at work\r\nProviding childcare or out of school care\r\nWorking a second job\r\nRenting out a room, a parking spot or the garage\r\nCollecting bottles and cans for refund\r\nUsing a skill you have to provide lessons for others\r\nSelling your crafts or handiwork\r\nHaving a garage sale or selling an asset that will provide a lump sum of money towards your overall savings goal\r\nStep 4: Set Your Saved Money Aside in a Savings Account\r\nEnsure that the money you\u2019re saving gets put into a savings account as fast as possible to keep it safe from yourself. Leaving it sitting in your chequing account, in your wallet or on a shelf in someone\u2019s room makes it more likely to be spent on other things.Keep your saved money in a savings account not hooked up to your bank machine or debit card.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nYou might even want to set up a separate savings account specifically for this goal so that you can easily keep track of your progress. If you have kids, a separate account lets you control how much of your personal financial information you show them. Find an account that pays some interest and has minimal service fees.\r\n\r\nConsider making savings automatic right on payday. Set up electronic transfers between your chequing and savings account and pay yourself first. What you can\u2019t see, you won\u2019t spend.\r\n\r\nStep 5: Employ as Many Savings Best Practices as You Can\r\nHere are some tips and \u201cbest practices\u201d that can make it easier to save:\r\n\r\nMake your saved money hard to get to, e.g. don\u2019t make your savings account(s) easily accessible on your debit card. This also helps curb impulse spending.\r\nAvoid friends who spend a lot of money. It\u2019s much harder to spend within your means if you spend time with people who spend more than you do.\r\nDon\u2019t spend to save. Some people call this \u201cspaving\u201d and it can turn into a lot of debt. Something is only a good deal if you truly need it and can afford it. All the points, discounts, 3-for-1s, etc. don\u2019t matter if buying the item takes you further away from your goal.\r\nStop collecting, or set a spending limit. Many people have things they like to collect but it\u2019s probably safe to say, we all have more than we need. While you\u2019re saving towards your goal, stay away from places where it\u2019s tempting to spend on stuff you don\u2019t need right now, including online forums like Ebay.\r\nUnsubscribe from marketing emails from your favourite shops. This way you won\u2019t feel like you\u2019re missing out on a sale or offer.\r\nOne of the best ways to find money to save is by looking at your spending habits. Have everyone track their spending for a month to see where and how they\u2019re spending their money. Then you can make informed choices and changes about how to manage money better.\r\nCelebrate Your Successes as You Find Ways to Save Money & Reach Your Financial Goals\r\nKeep talking about your progress so that everyone involved can be excited about how far you\u2019ve come. Tell family and friends what your financial goal is and what you\u2019re doing to achieve it. Ask them to find ways to encourage you to stay on track. This can include everything from contributing towards it for birthday gifts to helping set up a garage sale, baby sitting while you pick up an extra shift or supporting your efforts to save money and spend less on going out.\r\n\r\nEvery little bit counts, so have some fun as you find your fantastic frugal self!