Jennifer Hagar (left) and Janice Tullis set their savings on auto-pilot.
May 2016: What if I told you goals are like potatoes? Let me explain.
One type of goal is like instant potatoes. Stir in water, heat up and enjoy. The other type is like real mashed potatoes. It’s a process that takes time, planning and work. First you have to peel the potatoes, then you cook them, and then you have to mash them until you get rid of all the lumps.
The goals we set in life aren’t always going to be instant, but with planning and effort we can enjoy savory results.
A University of Scranton research study suggests an estimated 45 percent of people make a New Year’s resolution. Of those, only 8 percent actually achieve their stated goal.
Why? Could it be how we’re setting our goals? Let’s look at a few ways we set goals and find the secret ingredient to achieving them.
Friend Zone. You tell your friend Steve your goal is to save up money to take a vacation this summer. You ask him to help you stay on track by not letting you eat out at lunch. Is Steve the friend who will hold you accountable? Or could he forget and fail to stop you in a moment of weakness?
Social Media Black Hole. You post your vacation goal on social media for family, friends and even people you don’t really know to see so they can support you along your journey. But what happens when other posts crowd your friends’ pages? Will your supporters fall to the wayside, never to be seen again?
Attention Span. You write your goal down and stick it on your fridge or bathroom mirror. In the beginning, you look at it daily and resolve to meet the challenge. But after time will the note become commonplace and soon be overlooked in your early morning rush to get out the door?
Auto Pilot. What if your goal happened automatically? The secret ingredient to achieving your financial goals is to set up automatic savings. Open a savings account and set up automatic deposits from your paycheck. Schedule automatic transfers. The key is to set it and forget it until you need it.
Jennifer Hagar, a teller at RCB Bank, is saving up to buy a house with some land. “I set a fixed amount to come out of each paycheck and go into a savings account,” Hagar said. “I don’t touch my savings account; that is my house money.”
RCB Bank Teller Janice Tullis said when she got married, her husband stated he had a goal to retire without having to worry. “As soon as he got his first job out of college, he started putting 10 percent of his earnings into savings,” Tullis said.
When something automatically happens, the old saying “out of sight out of mind” takes over.
Say you make $500 a week and decide to automatically set aside $100. It may be tough at first to adjust your spending habits to the lesser take home pay, but with a little effort, you’ll see your savings grow to $400 in one month and $4,800 in one year.
“I don’t waste money on things I don’t need because I really want a house of my own,” said Hagar.
“I recommend savings goals for everything,” added Tullis. “We have been able to take a lot of family trips simply by saving for them.”
There is no right or wrong answer for setting a goal, but the secret sauce appears to be making it automatic. Pick the option that you feel the most comfortable with and start achieving your goals today!
For more tips on all things financial, visit RCB Bank’s Education Center at www.RCBbank.com/EducationCenter.
Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and persons interviewed and meant for generic illustration purposes only. Member FDIC.
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