Goals are an invaluable tool to help you save up for something over time. Expenses can help you manage those recurring expenses you pay every month. Learning how to use both can help you make the most of your Simple Account.
If you’re looking for some inspiration to help you get more focused with your saving, here’s a list of 12 common savings goals we gathered from the Simple team, with tips for using Simple’s Goals and Expenses features to help you save for them.
“I set a Goal for my first international trip to Thailand. I had never been able to budget correctly for something like this and now I have the ticket booked, funds saved, and am leaving in a month!” —Mallery, Frontend Customer Relations
Money Tip: When you’re saving for travel, set three Goals: One for spending-money (activities, food, etc.), one for hotel, and one for your plane ticket. That way you can set an earlier completion date for the ticket and hotel while giving plenty of time for your spending money to pile up.
“I have an emergency fund [Protected Goals Account] and I used it to fix this tooth [points to tooth].” —Bruke, Data
Money Tip: Saving enough to cover 3-6 months of your expenses creates a nice fallback in case you lose your job, need medical treatment, or suffer a vehicle breakdown. Automatically set aside $5.47 a day using Goals and you can build a $2,000 Emergency Fund in a year!
Note: A Protected Goals Account is designed for your savings and stashes away your money in a separate high-yield checking account so it’s safe from accidental spending. A Savings Goal is automatically created when you open a Protected Goals Account on your Shared or personal account, and that’s where interest credits are deposited at the end of the month. You can set up an Emergency Fund in addition to your Savings Goal by navigating to the Goals tab, selecting ‘Add’, and tapping ‘Emergency Fund’ from the list of suggested Goals.
“A puppy is a big responsibility, and I was worried the cost of food, vet trips, and training classes would be unmanageable. My ‘Samson’ Goal ensures I’m set every month not just for pet insurance and food, but also chew toys, treats, and polka dot leashes.” —Emily, Customer Relations Onboarding
Money Tip: Owning a pet can be an expensive endeavor, between food, treats, toys, preventative medicine, daycare, and other costs–not to mention, an unexpected trip to the vet could run several thousand dollars. Before you get a pet, create a Goal to save up for a few months of expenses so you’re financially prepared for anything they might need. Then, use Expenses to budget for their recurring expenses!
Restaurants and Bars
“I love eating out, but never really knew how much I was spending and felt anxious that it might be too much. Now I have an ‘Eating Out’ [Expense], and can enjoy my meals without worry. If the Expense runs out, I just cook a bit more until it fills back up.” —Michael, Mobile Money Tip: Use Expenses to automatically set aside a realistic budget for your culinary adventures each month. If you’re planning a more extravagant, once-in-a-lifetime type of outing, create a Goal to save up for it over time, so you can enjoy every bite without guilt!
“I saved up a $1,000 Account Buffer without even noticing, fairly quickly, using Goals.” —Sarah, Marketing
Money Tip: An account buffer is a pool of cash that exists specifically for the purpose of helping you cover ebbs and flows in your expenses. (This is different from an emergency fund, which is meant to help you cover larger unplanned expenses.) Aim to save up a week or two of living expenses in an Account Buffer Goal to avoid going into debt due to small fluctuations in your budget.
“I’ve always wanted to go back to grad school, but I also don’t want to have to dip into my emergency fund to pay for it. So, I made a ‘Grad School’ Goal! In a couple more years, I should have enough to pay for a Master’s without taking out loans.” —KF, Data
Money Tip: If you’re saving for an undergraduate degree, try using the Department of Education’s College Scorecard to inform your Goal amount. Many colleges list prices assuming scholarships and financial aid, but for incoming students, budgeting for the net price of attending really helps!
For ways to invest in yourself without spending too much money, check out this blog.
“We started saving 11 months before we got engaged and ended up with leftover money in the Goal after the wedding. It was a pleasant surprise!” —Daron, Data
Money Tip: Make sure to include each wedding line-item (catering, venue, photographer, etc.) in your total—and then add a different Goal for “the unexpected.” That way you’ll be covered if inclement weather shows up uninvited.
Buying or Building a Home
“I’m saving to build a house, and it’s so motivating to watch the money stack up. It’s made it easy to stick to my budget, despite all sorts of temptations.” —Chelsea, Customer Relations Education
Money Tip: If you have your sights set on a big-picture goal like buying a home, use Simple to help you stay motivated to save! To earn interest on your savings, open a Protected Goals Account and commit to using that money towards your dream home.
Attach an image to your Goal to keep you inspired to save! Even if you don’t have a specific house in mind, think of it like a vision board: Find an image of a home that you’d want to own one day.
Then use Simple’s budgeting tools to help you save!
- Set up Funding Schedules to fund your Goal every time you get paid.
- Turn on Round-Up Rules to save a little change with every debit transaction.
- Look at your Expenses at the end of each month and transfer any unused funds into your Protected Goals Account.
“A few of my high school buddies decided to get married this year. Between hotels, tuxes, and bachelor parties, I knew I needed to have a plan in place. I set a Goal for each wedding and now I’m ready for all of them, way in advance.” —Cory, Frontend Customer Relations
Money Tip: Use a deals-app like Hotel Tonight to find discount lodging or skip the hotel and get a group to go in on an Airbnb rental.
Start a Family
“When I learned that I was going to have a child, I talked to my insurance company and figured out how much I needed out-of-pocket to cover my wife’s stay in the hospital and created a Goal for that amount to be completed on the due date. I knew that the day he entered my life would be the best of my life and I didn’t want to worry about a thing.” —Eric, Legal
Money Tip: Make a list of all your variable and fixed expenses and commit to getting more consistent with your spending before the stork comes.
Learn more about keeping track of your expenses with Simple here.
“As a new homeowner, I had no idea how quickly buying & fixing little things around the house could add up. Before I knew it, I’d spent much more money than I planned to. Then I created a Home Improvement Goal, and immediately had a much better picture of my finances. We’ll see what’s next…” —Devin, Finance
Money Tip: Start each year with a planning session to finalize a list of home improvement projects you want to tackle—then create a Goal for each. (Make sure to set one for “unwanted surprise projects” as well!)
“For most people like myself, new gear can easily equate to a couple months’ paychecks. Setting a ‘New Gear’ Goal has allowed me to set money aside for a ski helmet that can break my tomahawk down the slope.” —Hau, QA Analyst
Money Tip: Set Goals for everything you need to replace at full-retail-prices—then be on the lookout for off-season deals. Refresh your summer gear in winter and your winter gear in summer and you might have enough leftover for a trip.
From traveling the world to starting a family to building your dream house, budget like a pro with Simple Expenses and Goals!
Use Expenses to set aside money for those recurring monthly pleasures, like dining out or feeding your furry friends. Use Goals to save up for larger, one-time purchases, like a new camera or flights to Thailand.
Whatever you’re saving for, we’re cheering for you!
—The Team at Simple
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