The five steps to start saving

You want to save money. And why wait until the new year to make a resolution? You can make a start today. With our five-step plan, you can finally start putting money aside. Because with more money in the bank, you'll have more peace of mind. Go for it!

Step 1: Make a plan

Just hoping to put some money aside at random doesn't work. What you need is a plan. You first need to know how much you can save each month. The only way to find out is to take a good look at your finances. Figure out how much you earn each month, what your fixed costs are, and take a critical look at the other costs you make. Where can you save money? Maybe on out-of-home coffees, subscriptions or buying clothes. Then decide how much money you want and can put aside each month. Don't be too mild on yourself - then it won't work - but don't be too strict either: your monthly savings amount must be achievable, otherwise you will be discouraged.

Step 2: Set a goal

Now you know what you can save each month. But what do you want to use that money for? Do you want to build up a buffer, in case your central heating boiler breaks down? Are you saving for something specific, such as an electric bicycle? Or do you want to build up a little extra for when you - one day - retire? Whatever you have in mind, make sure you have a clear idea of your goal, and know exactly how much you need to save. If you don't, you'll never reach your goal, which is very demotivating. However, if for example you see that you are halfway towards your goal, it will give you such a kick that you will want to continue saving fanatically.

Step 3: Open a savings account

The next step is to open a savings account. It is best to do this at another bank than where you normally bank, and without a bank card. In this way you make it more difficult for yourself to withdraw or spend money. It also forces you to use a different banking app from your current account. This way, your savings are a bit more out of sight, which makes it less likely you'll be tempted to snack on them.

Step 4: Automate your deposit

If you have to manually transfer your savings to your savings account every month, chances are you will forget to do it. Or you don't forget, but you just don't do it. It is an extra action, a threshold you have to cross again and again. So set up an automated payment to your savings account. The Flow app is very handy for this because you only have to set the amount you want to transfer to your savings account once. After that, you'll never have to worry about it again: Flow automates all your transfers (for your shopping account or your fixed charges, for instance). Another tip: make sure your automated savings payment is scheduled for the day you receive your salary. That way it will never feel as if your savings are money to be spent; before you know it, it has been transferred to your separate account.

Step 5: Make it fun

When we enjoy something, we find it easier to keep going. There are many ways to make saving fun. For example, find a friend who also wants to put money aside and discuss each other's savings plans. By talking about it you ensure that your enthusiasm for saving doesn't die out. It is nice to be able to share your saving tips and tricks with someone. Another way to make saving fun is to offer a reward every now and then. For example, for every six months you stick to your savings plan, treat yourself to a delicious cake, a visit to the cinema or a glass of good wine. Find your own way to make saving more fun; it will help you keep up with your good saving behavior until you reach your goal.

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