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The world is changing fast, and we have to work hard to ensure our goals are keeping up. The pandemic (and its variants) revealed that even our most educated guesses about the future can still leave us unprepared. As we learn to navigate our way forward, a bit wiser than we were before, we have to start thinking about what to do next—not only with ourselves, but with our savings.

Reset Your Plans

What do you see yourself doing in the next 6 months, 12 months or 2 years? Perhaps you’re looking forward to purchasing your first home or a new car. Or, maybe you want to treat yourself to a well-deserved Caribbean vacation. The good news is you don’t have to wait until things return to normal before you can save for these goals. You can get started now. Here are some steps to create a plan and make it happen.

  1. Determine a Goal. Although planning may feel different this year, you can still define what you want to accomplish and set a timeframe for achieving your goals. Be as specific as possible with details that bring your goal to life. Write down the dates and details of your plan so it stays top of mind. Post a photo that reminds you of your goal to boost your motivation. You could even make it the lock screen photo on your phone so you see it throughout the day.
  2. Estimate the Costs. After researching your goal, estimate how much money you’ll need to make it happen. Let’s say you plan to buy a new car. You’ll need to consider the costs of buying a new or used car, what your monthly payment could look like and how much you’ll need to set aside monthly for insurance and gas. Use a savings goal calculator to determine how long it may take you to reach your goal, and how much you’ll need to save each month.
  3. Start Saving. Open a special savings account so you can earmark money for your goal. Add a personal touch by naming your savings account to match your goal. Every time you view your savings account, you’ll be reminded of your unique goal, whether it’s saving for all-new furniture, a family vacation, a new car or other savings. If you’re looking to earn a little more on your money, an account like our EasyStartSM Certificate can help you reach your goal a little faster. Plus, with a variety of term lengths and a low minimum deposit, it’s a flexible option to fit your financial goals.
  4. Stash Extra Cash. Put extra money to work for your savings goal. You may not have a lot of extra cash lying around, but even small amounts add up—whether it’s a bit of loose change in the couch or money saved from dropping services you don’t need. If you had to cancel trips, concert outings and more this spring and summer, consider using any “windfall” money you were refunded to save for your next adventure.
  5. Set Up Automatic Transfers. Keep your savings growing by making it automatic. Setting up recurring transfers into your savings account is a smart, convenient way to make sure saving money happens automatically just like any other monthly expense.

Learn more about small ways to continue building your savings with Navy Federal Credit Union.

This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.