As someone who likes to be financially prepared, saving continues to be an important goal of mine. Before each year ends, I set a savings goal for the upcoming year and figure out how to make it happen.
Whether you’re looking to boost your emergency fund or are saving up for a big purchase, there are ways to set yourself up for success if you have a savings goal you’re trying to meet next year. Here’s how I plan to save more than $20,000 in 2024.
I determined a savings goal that works for me
First, I sat down and determined exactly how much I wanted to save next year. My savings goals for 2024 include boosting my existing emergency fund, saving for future travel costs, and preparing for several expected costs like vehicle registration fees, car insurance premiums, and prescription glasses and contacts purchases I plan to make later in the year.
I calculated each individual goal, then added everything up to determine a grand savings total. Once I know how much I want to save throughout the year, I can easily calculate how much I plan to contribute each month. Breaking bigger goals into more manageable ones works well for me, making the big goal feel less daunting.
My savings goal doesn’t include the money I plan to set aside for tax payments. I’ll do that math in the coming weeks. As a self-employed freelance writer, I make quarterly estimated tax payments, and I save up throughout the year for these payments.
I’ll put everything on autopilot
The next step is probably the No. 1 reason why I have been able to meet my savings goals each year. I automate the savings process, so there’s no extra work involved for me. It also ensures I don’t forget to save. In the coming weeks, I will set up automated savings contributions so money is automatically transferred from my checking account on a regular basis.
You can easily do this through your bank’s mobile app or website. You can decide how much and how often you make contributions. If you frequently forget to transfer extra cash to your savings account, this strategy may help you stay on track with your personal finance goals.
I prefer to spread out my contributions so it doesn’t feel as if all my money disappears at once. For me, a bi-weekly system works nicely. But for others, a weekly or once-a-month schedule may be more ideal. You have complete control over how you automate your savings.
I’ll stick to the plan and avoid making excuses
Since everything is set on autopilot, I don’t fall behind and can meet my goals by year’s end. But, of course, life happens. If I need to dip into my emergency fund to pay an unexpected bill, I will. That’s what the money is there for and that security provides great relief.
But I hold myself accountable when I feel like giving up. I don’t pause my automated contributions or pull from my emergency fund because I feel like going on a shopping spree. Staying determined and focusing on the end goal helps me stay on track as I save.
I’ll earn interest as I save
Saving more than $20,000 next year will be a big accomplishment. But in addition to the money I set aside, I’ll also earn interest. That means I’ll have even more money in the bank by year’s end. This is possible because I keep my savings in a bank account that earns interest. In 2023, I earned over $1,200 in savings account interest. Those interest payments add up fast!
If you plan to save money in 2024, that’s excellent news. I believe in you! Before you start saving, consider what bank account to use. Since most checking accounts don’t accrue interest, you’ll want to keep your savings elsewhere. A high-yield savings account is a great option, and annual percentage yields (APYs) on them are higher than usual thanks to Federal Reserve rate hikes in 2022 and 2023.
Check out our list of the best high-yield savings accounts to find the right one for your savings in 2024 and beyond.
Alert: highest cash back card we’ve seen now has 0% intro APR until 2025
If you’re using the wrong credit or debit card, it could be costing you serious money. Our experts love this top pick, which features a 0% intro APR for 15 months, an insane cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee.
In fact, this card is so good that our experts even use it personally. Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.
Read our free review