Failing to plan is planning to fail!

    Remember the video game or the guitar you started saving for last year? Or maybe it was a sports good or something else? What happened? Did you save enough for it and then buy it? If yes, then congratulations. You did great! But if you didn’t, then stop and think- ‘Why not?’

    Chances are, if you’ve bought it, it was because you saved for it regularly as per a certain plan, and if you didn’t, then it was because you did not plan for it.

    If you don’t have a specific goal and a proper plan, something like the savings plan we have already discussed, you will end up spending all your money on whatever is available in front of you. Your real needs and wants will soon be forgotten.

    Still, planning is just step 1. It is not enough. You must plan and then track your savings and expenses regularly to ensure that you stay on track. You may even change your plan along the way so that your goal is met. For e.g. if some month you have to spend more, then save more the next month. Or if the cost of the item you are saving for goes up or down, change your plan accordingly.

    Here are five essential steps to help you create a successful savings plan:

    Dictionary meaning:
    Plan [plan] - a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something.
    Track [trak] -follow the trail or movements of (someone or something), typically in order to find them or note their course.

    1. Identify what you are saving for
      Deciding what you are saving for is the first step. If you can visualise what you get at the end, it really helps.Don't rush this part, it helps ensure you'll succeed.
    2. Determine how much you can save or need to save
      Whatever your allowance may be, you need to assess your spending and decide how much you can save. Please note that this should be after taking out some amount for giving. You can either start with an amount you can save and calculate the duration you need to save for, or if you are saving for something you need after a fixed time period, you can calculate the amount you should save every week. That's where a budget comes in. You will have to control your overall spending accordingly.

      Here is a recap of how to save for a specific goal:

      Goal 3000
      Saving duration 26 weeks
      Amount to be saved every week ₹ 115
    3. Choose where to keep your savings
      Savings bank account, transparent piggy bank at home, your parents, a locker or anywhere else. Decide where to keep the money. This will make it more real and may also involve another person who will help you stay on track.
    4. Pay yourself first
      As soon as you get your allowance, put aside the money for giving (at least 10%) and for saving. Spend only whatever is left.
    5. Monitor your progress
      Take a few minutes every week to see if you're meeting your savings goals. If you get anallowance increase, add it to your savings; it shouldn't be an opportunity to spend more.

"A goal without a plan is just a wish." ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Plans are nothing; planning is everything." ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

"He who fails to plan, plans to fail." ~ Proverb

"It pays to plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark." ~ Peter Drucker

The idiom ‘best-laid plans of mice and men oft(en) go astray’ highlights the importance of tracking. And the term ‘game plan’ is used for the plan made for achieving success

Look beyond your piggy bank while planning where and how to save. You have so many other options. For example, a savings bank account is a simple and practical option.
The Reserve Bank of India, in May 2014, allowed banks to let minors above the age of 10 years open and operate bank accounts independently. The central bank also stated that a minor of any age can open a savings, fixed or recurring bank deposit account through her natural or legally appointed guardian. You will also need to give a proof of the child’s age and your (parent’s) KYC. These savings accounts come with debit cards and cheque book facilities that can be used by you.
Some banks even have mobile banking facilities with these accounts. This facility will help you keep track of your savings.

Pause to Ponder: Do you know what the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is? Why don’t you do some research and find out more about it? While you are at it, you can check out KYC as well!

Visualise the reward of the effort. This will help focus on the rewards rather than the effort of saving for it.
Be flexible. Don’t lose heart if you miss the aim for a week or two. But just don’t make it a habit.
Get support. Share your plan with your parents and your friends. They will help you stay motivated and on track.

Tab9

Tab10

  1. Download this tracking sheet.
  2. Fill it with the help of the calculator given in the section on Needs and Wants.
  3. Take a print of the filled sheet and put it up in your room.
  4. Update the sheet regularly with your actual expenses and savings.
  5. Make changes whenever you realise that you have strayed off the path. You may use the calculator again to recalculate the amounts to be saved.
  6. This sheet will help ensure that you meet your goals.

Visualising what you want is a great way to ensure that you stay motivated throughout your savings plan period. Imagine yourself buying it, opening it, enjoying it.
Don’t rush this part. This will ensure you succeed in saving for what you want.

All this is really worth the effort, because apart from the direct benefits of getting what you want, you might also feel the additional satisfaction of being in control. This can increase your self-confidence!

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