Budget Worksheet to Manage Your Savings Goals

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There are a lot of great reasons to save money, such as buying a nicer car, a bigger home, or splurging on a honeymoon in Italy. Or like many people, maybe you just want to pay off your student loans and have a decent retirement.

Saving is more than just the amount of money you have left at the end of the month. It's an essential component of your budget. Unfortunately, most people forget to include their savings goals in their budget, and spend their extra money on other, possibly non-essential things, instead.

If you want to start saving and making progress with your goals, this budget worksheet will help you list your goals, compare them with how much you can realistically budget towards savings, and rank your financial priorities.

It will give you a comprehensive view of your finances; having an understanding of what's going on with your money in terms of spending, saving, and earning will only help you.

Guide Tips

To figure out how much you want to save each month for a certain goal, first decide how much you'd like to save in total. Then decide when your deadline will be.

Divide your goal by the number of months until your deadline to determine how much you should save each month.

For example, if you want to have $12,000 saved for a wedding within one year, you'll need to save $1,000 per month. (12,000 divided by 12 months = 1,000.)

At the end of the month, write down how much you saved so that you can compare it to your goals.

Short-Term/ Emergency Fund Goals

This is savings you need to rely on when life's emergencies arise, which could happen at any time.

Car repairs/maintenance
Home repairs/maintenance
Illness or Accident
In Case of a Layoff
Cushion to Prevent Overdrafts

Mid-Term and Non-Emergency Goals

These goals mostly fall within a one to 10-year timespan.

Car Purchase
Home Remodeling
Down Payment
Holiday Gifts
Miscellaneous #1
Miscellaneous #2

Long-Term Goals

For some people, these goals may have a time horizon of longer than ten years, although that isn't the case for everyone. Adjust these goals into the mid-term category as needed.

Buying a Second Home
Miscellaneous #1
Miscellaneous #2

Complete the tables, add your totals, and compare this to the amount you're able to save. You can get this number by filling out the income and necessities worksheet and the discretionary spending worksheet.

Next Steps

If your goals cost more than the amount you can save, you have three options:

If your savings rate exceeds your goals, congratulations! Consider adding a new goal or saving more to accelerate your progress toward your current goals.

How to Manage Your Savings

One of the easiest ways to manage your savings is to set up an automatic withdrawal system

Many banks, especially online banks, allow you to have multiple savings accounts. If that's not the case for your bank, or if it's a hassle to set up, look into other banks that have this option. You want to make saving as easy as possible. 

Set up multiple savings accounts for each of your goals. For example, you can have a wedding account, a down payment account, a car repair account, etc. 

Once these accounts are set up, you'll need to link your main checking account to them. If these accounts are all attached to the same bank, you won't need to do this, but if your savings accounts are at a different bank, you will. You'll usually be prompted to do this while you're setting up automatic transfers. 

Once everything is set up, use the numbers from the worksheet to determine how much money you should be transferring to each account. So if you want to save $1,000 for your wedding each month, set up an automatic transfer from your checking to your wedding fund for $1,000 each month. 

If you'd rather split up the savings, you can do that too. Most banks will allow you to do weekly, bi-weekly, twice-a-month, or monthly transfers.

Do this for all of your savings accounts, so you're automatically contributing to them. Then, sit back and save!