Saving is easy if you know how to do it: the importance of planning


Saving is easy. Much easier than you think.

The important thing is to know how to do it.

Often, saving money is part of the list of good resolutions that we make in September and abandon even before Christmas.

After all, we know that saving requires a commitment that must be maintained over time and we are not used to thinking and, above all, acting with consistency and continuity. So, even just saving on groceries ends up seeming like an epic undertaking. Let’s not even talk about saving on bills, or starting to think from a long-term perspective!

In many cases the problem is not so much the lack of economic resources, but the lack of basic financial skills and adequate financial education.

Where to start from?

Without a doubt from the ability to plan.


The first pillar of savings

It is common opinion that to make good financial choices, specific training or, at least, a certain predisposition is necessary. Nothing could be more wrong!

Keeping the reins of your finances is possible even for those who don’t have the gift of mathematics. No magic formulas are needed and the first step, even in everyday life, is undoubtedly planning.


Planning explained in brief

What does it mean to plan?

In general, it involves drawing up a plan aimed at achieving an objective.

We start from the needs analysis and evaluate both the time and the actions necessary to achieve the pre-established goal.

In the economic field, planning is the system for efficiently orienting financial decisions.


How does it actually work?

First of all, it involves identifying an objective that you want to achieve in a specific period of time.

Then, taking into account the income and asset situation, priorities are established, modifying, if necessary, some consumption choices.

 Start training immediately by putting into practice some simple “saving exercises”:

  • Buy a piggy bank, perhaps one of those that can only be opened by shattering it. It seems silly, but you will think twice before buying something superfluous with the money you have saved up. If you prefer a less analogue option, explore your bank’s app and you will surely find a function designed specifically to help you set aside the amount you want each month. Alternatively, the web offers many apps designed to help you save effortlessly: choose the one best suited to you!
  • Try using the 50-20-30 rule, which suggests dividing your income into three parts each month: 50% for necessary expenses, 30% for wants and 20% for savings or investments.


 Why plan your financial behaviors?

Hoping that everything goes well is not enough!

If we learn to plan, not only will we be able to achieve the objectives set, but we will avoid being caught unprepared for unexpected events.

With a detailed plan we will be able to plan small actions which, if maintained consistently over time, will lead us to reach our goal. 

How to plan in a truly effective way?

Here are some simple tips.

  • The fundamental prerequisite for good planning is to have a clear objective to be achieved.
    If you need a new car, you will have to choose the type of model best suited to your needs, trying to mediate between needs and desires.

Even if you dream of a Ferrari, you have to deal with reality: if you have a limited budget, live in the city and need an agile vehicle for daily travel with the family, a small car is probably the best choice.

  • Identify unnecessary expenses and start eliminating them. Proceed like this: after calculating the necessary expenses, what can you do without? Any aperitifs? Breakfast at the bar? Make your choices!
  • Calculate realistically how long it will take you to reach the finish line.

Add up your fixed expenses (house, transportation, living expenses) and subtract them from your monthly income. Perhaps applying the 50-30-20 rule, establish the amount to set aside on a regular basis. At this point, by dividing the price of your desire by the sum you set aside monthly, it will be clear to you how long it will take you to reach your goal.

  • Stay focused on the goal, so you don’t waste resources unnecessarily. The temptation to indulge in that superfluous purchase that could take you over budget is always around the corner. Focus on the goal and start savoring the moment when you have the keys to your new car in your hand.


The importance of monitoring and meeting deadlines

In summary, planning means identifying an objective and deciding, realistically, how and in how much time we want to achieve it.

In this way, we will be able to check, at any time, where we are and whether we are respecting the given times.

Planning correctly requires periodically checking that the actions implemented correspond to the pre-established program. If not, you need to make the appropriate changes and realign with the initial design.

If you have had unexpected expenses, or dinners out have been more numerous than expected, you will have to review your plan and re-evaluate the amount to be allocated to savings in the following months to achieve the goal within the established timeframe. If you really can’t get back to the initial plan, all you have to do is postpone the moment in which you will take possession of your new car.

To avoid these situations, planning requires careful control of expenses, both in the estimate and during construction. Net of unexpected events and compulsive impulses, a well-organized financial strategy allows us to evaluate whether a certain expense must be made, whether it can be supported, whether it must be postponed or whether it should be eliminated.


How do we apply planning in everyday life?

In everyday life we find ourselves planning every time, for example, we have to organize an event, a birthday party, an engagement party or something simpler, like a dinner with friends.

How do we behave in this situation?

  • We decide what to cook
  • We establish a budget to make available
  • We make a list of things to buy
  • We consider how much time we will need to prepare the dishes and the table, so that we are ready for the arrival of the guests

In short, if you think about it carefully, saving doesn’t have a negative connotation at all: it’s the path to take to make our dreams come true!

The important thing is to have clear objectives, to be clear about the difference between useful and superfluous and, above all, to be patient because perseverance is essential to obtain the desired result.

As we have seen, planning is a great ally, but it is not enough on its own. Starting to plan is just one of the essential steps to implement a real savings project.  


Do you want to find out the next steps? Continue to follow our blog!

Meanwhile, if you want to test your skills in the field of personal finance, you can come and visit us at the Museum of Saving, where you will find apps and games with useful tips for learning how to manage your money. You can also do a little test from home with the It’s my life game app and find out how skilled you are at managing money.

Because the realization of your desires starts here! 



September 18, 2023