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Set financial goals for your important life moments

April 29, 2021 • 4 min read

What we'll cover

  • How to simplify financial goals

  • A step-by-step action plan to setting goals

  • How to leverage Ally Bank's Online Savings Account to achieve your goals

You have big hopes and exciting dreams for your life, from throwing a memorable wedding, furnishing your dream home, or financing a new car. An important step to achieving these special moments is simple, really: Setting concrete goals. Financial goal setting doesn’t have to be overcomplicated — here’s how you can do it yourself and smart tools that can help you making saving easy along the way.

Create your own action plan

You’ve probably set plenty of goals before, perhaps to make an A in a class, run a 5k race or earn a raise at work. To achieve your goals, you needed to have an action plan. It’s no different with financial goals.

1. Start by defining exactly what you want. And, get specific. The more detailed you can be, the more you can start to visualize your progress . For example, “I want to buy a car” probably won’t be as effective and motivating as, “I will buy a small hybrid SUV in three years.”

2. Determine your timeline. Is this a short-term goal (something you hope to complete in the next few weeks or months), mid-term goal (one to several years away) or a long-term goal (typically around 10 or more years off)? Thinking about the life moments you’re working towards in this way can help you prioritize how you save for various objectives and provide the basis for your savings roadmap.

3. Pinpoint your target dollar amount. You may need to do some research to find out exactly how much you’ll realistically need for something like a wedding, a down payment, or a vacation abroad.

4. Map out the actionable steps to get there. For example, if you aim to save $5,000 in five years so you can outfit your living room with new furniture, you might break that down into a goal of $1,000 each year, or about $83 a month — which sounds a lot more doable!

5. Write it down. Put your financial goals and plan to get there into existence. Why? Because when you can literally see what you’re striving for, you’ll increase your motivation and have a reference point to check your progress toward success. But don’t reach for a pencil just yet … there’s a banking app for just that.

There’s a banking app for that

A graphic with a title that says, name, set, reach your goals. Underneath the title it states, with buckets, saving for all your special moments is simple. The graphic also displays five different savings bucket goals with images that coincide. The first is a bachelorette Cancun trip scheduled for June 2022 with a picture of a briefcase. Second, is kitten adoption, with a goal of $800 listed and an image of a cat and dog standing together. Third, is 6-month emergency fund with a goal of $14,000 and an image of an umbrella surrounded by raindrops. Next is new apartment furniture with a target date of January 2023 and an image of a house. Lastly, is a hybrid SUV listed with a savings goal of $8,000 and a target date of December 2024 - also including an image of a vehicle.

Yes, you can now have a banking app that lets you set, name, and visualize your individual financial goals while you save for them. You can even view and optimize your progress and plan. The best part? It’s all within the Ally Bank Online Savings Account .

With Ally Bank’s Bucket Goals tool, you have the power to divvy up your Online Savings Account into 10 customizable digital envelopes , where you can keep track of all your financial goals. And by setting individual target amounts or dates for each and every savings objective, you can stay excited about your progress by receiving a dose of motivation each time you log in to your bank account. That romantic, ruffled wedding dress will soon be yours!

Your goals are within reach

No matter if you’re beefing up your emergency fund , saving for an exercise bike, or stashing cash to put towards a cloud couch, you can save for multiple priorities at once and stay organized all in one place. Easily view your savings growth within each bucket, receive tailored insights on how you’re doing, and use savings boosters (like Recurring Transfers and Surprise Savings ) to meet your mark even faster.

Because Bucket Goals are flexible, you can always divide your savings targets into even more specific goals so you can stay on track with more frequent small wins. You’ll see the results of your efforts and can celebrate tangible success more often. What better way to stay focused, disciplined and inspired to keep going? And as your savings momentum picks up, you might even find yourself excited to work toward new, more ambitious goals.

See it and achieve it

Accomplishing all sorts of goals in life, especially financial ones, is more mental than you might think. And little tricks — such as naming your objectives, spelling out exactly what you want and dividing up large goals into smaller, more attainable ones — can help you get there. So, get ready, set your goals and go start saving.

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