If you have goals in your life (and we sincerely hope you do!), you need a plan for how you’re going to reach those goals. You also need a way to measure your progress. For financial goals, the best way to measure your progress is by tracking savings.
Your savings goals may include things like saving for:
- A down payment
- A new car
- A vacation budget
- A gift fund for birthdays and the holidays
- A wedding fund
- And so many more!
Whether you have one major savings goal this year or many, a fun savings tracker is essential to making sure you achieve your goals. In fact, tracking savings consistently makes saving money that much easier.
Why should you want to start tracking savings?
Tracking your savings can help you stay organized. By tracking your savings, you’ll know exactly how close you are to reaching your goal at all times.
You’ll be able to estimate how much more time it will take to reach the goal. And you’ll know immediately if you’re not making as much progress toward your goal as you’d like.
It can also be incredibly motivating. When you see a visual representation of your progress, you’ll be more motivated to keep going. (After all, if you can’t see your progress, you may not realize you’re making progress at all.)
Tracking your progress can also help you stay focused and keep your goals top of mind when it becomes necessary to make sacrifices.
Awareness of your spending habits
And finally, tracking savings can allow you to adjust your spending habits, your savings rate, or your goals as needed.
The truth is, you may experience changes to your finances as you’re trying to reach your goal. Sometimes these things are unavoidable, such as the effects of inflation on your budget.
Sometimes, all you can do is notice when these things are happening and adjust your plan as best you can. But if you’re not tracking your savings, you may not know when it’s time to make adjustments.
For changes that are in your control, there are plenty of things you can do to still make progress toward your goal. You may want to pay more attention to your spending to see where you can cut back. Or you may want to brainstorm ways to increase your income so you can save more.
Ultimately, tracking savings gives you power. Using a fun savings tracker such as one of the ones listed below can help you reach your goals faster and stay focused on what’s most important to you.
What are some fun savings trackers to use?
There are lots of fun ways to track your savings! Peruse the options below to get a sense of which fun tracker is most appealing to you—and which one you’ll be most likely to stick with for the next few weeks, months, or years!
Spreadsheets may be an old-school way of tracking savings, but they can still be incredibly effective. All you have to do is open an Excel or Google Sheets file, write down your goal, and pop in your progress every time you make a transfer to your savings account.
You could also transfer your savings to a dedicated savings club account. (If you’re saving physical cash in an envelope, jar, or something else, the spreadsheet will work just as well!)
You can create a savings tracker spreadsheet complete with simple equations or use a pre-designed spreadsheet template to make tracking in a spreadsheet even easier.
You get to decide if you prefer to use just one spreadsheet to track all your personal finances, or if you’d like to separate your savings goals into multiple spreadsheets.
2. Budgeting apps
Budgeting apps are also a great way to track your savings. Most budgeting apps today will automatically import your transactions when you link your bank account(s), so you can kiss the days of manual importing goodbye!
Some budgeting apps are free, while others charge a low monthly fee to access all their features.
The best budgeting app for you may depend on how you like to budget your money or how hands-on you’d like your budget to be. Check out our post "7 Of The Best Budget Templates And Tools" for the best budgeting apps to try!
Worksheets are another fun savings tracker that might appeal to you more than a spreadsheet or app. You can use worksheets digitally or print them out if you prefer to handwrite your progress.
Clever Girl Finance offers budgeting worksheets as both printable and spreadsheet versions. Grab your free budget worksheet here to get started!
If you’re a journaler, a monthly budget planner might be the fun savings tracker for you! A budget planner allows you to keep track of your savings alongside everything else in your life: important dates, journal entries, non-financial goals, and more.
The planner you choose doesn’t have to specifically revolve around finances, but it should include pages for comprehensive budgeting.
A good budget planner can make keeping track of your savings feel more holistic. It can also remind you how the progress you’re making is getting you closer to the life you want.
5. Savings tracker printables
Finally, a savings tracker printable might be the easiest and (arguably) the most fun savings tracker out there. A printable savings tracker is typically a one-page sheet that allows you to visualize your progress toward your goal.
The visual on the savings tracker printable may consist of a generic image, such as a coin jar or thermometer. Or it might depict an image that is related to your goal, such as a wedding cake for a wedding fund or a Christmas tree for a holiday gift fund. As you make progress, you can color in different levels on the printable.
A savings tracker printable can be particularly motivating. It allows you to tap into your artistic side while giving you a simple, colorful way to track your progress.
While there are some printables available for purchase, free printable savings trackers are widely available on the internet. Here are some of our favorite free printable savings trackers.
Let’s Craft Instead
Let’s Craft Instead offers 15 totally free printable savings trackers. In addition to various savings jars and money bags, there are options to find savings trackers that are customized to your particular goal.
For example, she has a cute house savings tracker that will let you see your progress toward saving for a down payment.
The free printable savings trackers from 101planners.com are so cute! In addition to different visuals such as money jars, thermometers, and even an adorable honeybee design, you can customize different backgrounds for the savings tracker you choose. You can also add “accessories” to your savings tracker printable like flower crowns or borders.
A Cultivated Nest
A Cultivated Nest provides 10 free printable savings trackers to choose from. There are options for different numerical goals ranging from a $1,000 emergency fund to a $10,000 money challenge.
They also have theme-specific options such as a string of Christmas lights for a Christmas gift fund and a Mickey-shaped visual for a vacation to Disney World.
What fun savings tracker is best for you?
When it comes to tracking savings, the most important thing is to choose a savings tracker that you’ll want to stick with for the long term until you reach your savings goal. Use the following questions to help you decide which one you should use:
- How do you like to organize other things in your life?
- Are you a visual person?
- Do you prefer hard copies or digital copies?
- Do you like to customize or use a template?
- What could you easily incorporate into your existing habits?
Hopefully, the answers to these questions will help you narrow down to the right savings tracker that will help you reach your goals. Above all, choose one that will be fun for you to use and one that you’ll remember to update often.
Where to put your savings tracker
Whatever savings tracker you choose, make sure to post it in an area you’ll see often. This will help you keep your goal top of mind, which is important as you’ll inevitably be faced with temptations that could derail you. Additionally, watching your progress increase will be incredibly motivating.
If you’re using a free printable savings tracker, post it on your fridge or bathroom mirror to remind you of your progress every morning!
If you’re using an online spreadsheet, add it to your bookmarks bar, so you remember to open it often. And if you’re using a planner, keep your planner on your bedside table so you make sure to update every morning or night.
Reach your goals by tracking your savings!
Tracking your savings is the best way to ensure you reach your goals. If you’re not tracking your savings, you risk losing focus and motivation.
You have to stay on top of your progress to know how close you are to reaching your goals. So, try these great ideas to help you stay inspired to save more money!