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Discover tips and tricks on how to save and invest money by Oval Money

Everyone has goals. Some of us even have multiple goals running all at the same time with different outcomes, ambitions, and parameters for success. In fact, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the number of things we wish to achieve, and the more plates you have in the air, the harder it is to keep them all spinning.

No matter what you’re trying to achieve, these three strategies are tried and tested ways to help you accomplish exactly what it is you want, helping you keep all your chosen plates in the air and to achieve all your important goals.

Track your performance

Nothing makes you more likely to succeed than tasting success. If you see that you’re doing well at something you receive a boost of positive reinforcement and continue to behave accordingly. Therefore, by tracking your small scale successes that you achieve along the road to your ultimate end point you are more likely to stay on target.

For example, if your dream goal is to buy a car then you will need to set yourself the ultimate goal of saving for the car itself. However, it is recommended that you also set up three to four smaller “sub” goals, such as the money you will need for the insurance and the tax. Reward yourself each time you meet one of these sub goals, and that way your success will encourage you to continue saving for the car itself.

Visual motivation

The human brain responds to visual stimuli in 0.25 seconds. This is what makes visual motivation so powerful when it comes to achieving your goals. If there is something that you are particularly saving for – be it a car, a wedding, or a holiday, - then put a picture of the thing you are trying to achieve in tactical positions around your house or your place of work.

For example, if you are saving for a car, then put a picture of the car you wish to buy on your mirror, in your wallet, or on your desktop background at work. By keeping it always in your field of vision you are less likely to be distracted into spending money on something else, and will be more likely to achieve your ultimate goal.

Be efficient

Achieving your goals is easier if you engage in behaviour that maximises your success with the least amount of input. The 80/20 principle is a principle that states that 80% of all output comes from only 20% of total input.

This means that if you are an investor, 80% of your returns will come from 20% of your investments. Or, if you are a student then 80% of your knowledge base will come from 20% of your lectures.

To maximise your savings you need to see which behaviours are earning you the most in savings. Go through your saving Steps and see which are the most successful. Then, concentrate on how to improve these steps to make them more efficient and save even more, whilst eliminating those that bring in no savings whatsoever.

Similarly, 80% of your money is likely being spent on 20% of your total outgoings. Look at your personalised spending data over the past six months in order to ascertain where you are spending the most money and work on minimising this as much as possible, as well as working to cut out all miscellaneous spends (such as take away coffee) completely.

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