Whether you’ve dreamed of flying to Mars or buying the house down the street, you’ve probably realized that all of your dreams have one thing in common — they require money.
But here’s the deal: saving money is often difficult. In fact, nearly half of adults in the U.S. would be unable to cover a $400 unexpected expense. So if you’ve struggled to save money in the past, you’re not alone. (And if you’ve had a hard time saving the estimated $200,000 it would cost to visit Mars, you’re definitely not alone.)
But with the right savings app and some perseverance, you’ll be able to hit your savings goals.
Thanks to Qapital, these three millennials went from spenders to savers as they accomplished their unique savings goals. Here’s how they did it, and more importantly, how you can too.
Matt A., project manager in Denver, Colorado
“Last February, I went to Japan and got back from the trip, paid all the bills and still had $800 in my Qapital account.”
Before using Qapital, Anderson struggled to save money for short-term goals. Even though he had an emergency fund in a separate savings account, he still identified as a “terrible” saver.
But here’s what Anderson learned: he’s able to save more when the money is stored in a separate account. The fact that he can’t see his Qapital account when he logs into his checking account has been a game-changer — for both his finances and his mindset.
“For my trip to Japan, I had a rule set up [through Qapital],” Anderson explained. “I had $20 per week transferred from my checking account. I also used the Round Up Rule and had it set to round up my purchases to the nearest $5. So if I spend $11 on something, it will round up to $15 and transfer $4 to my Qapital account. I saved for [my trip to Japan] for about a year.
“It felt awesome to hit my savings goal. Japan was the best couple days of snowboarding I’ve had in twenty years. As we were flying home from Japan, my friends and I were talking about where we wanted to go next and it felt super satisfying to come back home and have nearly $1,000 already saved for my next trip.”
Savings tip: If it feels like you’re always “stealing” from your savings account, try implementing a complete separation between savings and checking.
Amanda R., interior designer in Lafayette, Louisiana
“Since I’ve started using Qapital, I’ve saved over $10k towards various goals.”
One of the first things Reviere tried when she joined Qapital was the 52-Week Challenge for Christmas savings, which gradually increases savings until you’ve saved a total of $1,378.
Thanks to Reviere’s competitive nature, the challenge was a success and she learned something important: she loves to compete against herself. Since then, she’s been able to harness her competitive spirit to complete multiple savings goals.
As soon as Reviere finishes one goal, she immediately begins the next and constantly pushes herself to save more, which has allowed her to treat herself and her family to special gifts.
“At any given time, I have three to four active goals. I use Qapital to help save for the fun — and sometimes not-so-fun — stuff,” Reviere said. “I always name them something interesting and add a quirky image to keep it exciting. Right now I have ‘Giving Season’ for Christmas, ‘Pay the Man’ for taxes, ‘Everywhere’ for spontaneous trips and ‘Slushy Money’ for things that I see and that I have to own right now.”
Most of Reviere’s goals have been for big trips or events and Christmas splurges for the family.
“Just in the last two years, I’ve managed to use my Qapital goals to go to the Dominican Republic, Breckinridge, New York City, Disney, and ride in the Muses Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans,” Reviere said. “My husband and I are going to France in October 2019 for our anniversary. We’ve been putting money into a joint savings account each month for the last three years to pay for the trip. My Qapital goal will be used to surprise him with an extra excursion or a night at a vineyard.”
Savings tip: If you’re a competitive person and hate losing, focus your energy on savings “games.” Set goals and challenge yourself to hit them faster than projected. Even if you lose, you’ll still win.
Sean M., Strategic Partnerships in Denver, Colorado
“I set my engagement ring goal to $5,000 and when I hit the goal it felt excellent… It felt liberating.”
Before using Qapital, Marrero had a “poor” relationship with money and struggled to make progress toward his savings goals. But the fix was surprisingly simple: separate accounts for saving and spending. Once he separated his accounts with Qapital, he focused on his “why.”
“The [engagement ring] was the first goal I ever set,” he said. “I was like, ‘I really need to start saving money for this ring. How am I going do that?’ It was a mixture of a monthly savings and a round up rule. It took about a year and a half of saving to make it happen. The great thing is that when I hit the goal, there was a family ring that we ended up using instead. So I was able to use the money I had saved and transition it to other joint goals — a down payment for a car and a housing move.”
He now has a “Love Cash” savings goal for his wife and their life together.
“I use the Round Up Rule, so I round up to the nearest $5,” he said. “What’s good about that is that you really don’t notice the money leaving your account, but the more you spend, the more you save. Recently, we used money from that fund to buy a new couch.
“My next goal is a $5,000 emergency fund for our house. That goal will probably be funded in April 2019,” Marrero said. “I think that I feel more protected by having savings…It’s like having insurance. My savings goals have alleviated a lot of my daily stress.”
Savings tip: Make saving personal. It’s hard to feel motivated if you aren’t clear about why you’re saving money. Use creative names for your Qapital accounts and add pictures that remind you of your purpose.
Whether you identify as a bad saver or a money genius, there’s always room from improvement when it comes to saving. With a few simple changes — separating your accounts, making it a game or focusing on your purpose — you’ll be able to hit your money goals, no matter how simple or outlandish they may seem.
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