We all understand the importance of saving?for our future, but the reality is the aim can seem so abstract and incongruous with our day-to-day experience that it's difficult to find the motivation. We spoke to three IMAGE readers about their short and long-term savings goals and sought advice from a financial expert and life coach on how they could succeed in saving using simple methods that could easily be integrated into daily spending habits.
All three women were at different stages of their lives - Grace was saving to buy her first home, Amy wanted to continue saving after the long process of building a house, and Patricia was beginning to look beyond working life and how to financially prepare for such a shift. Challenged with'defining their short and long-term goals and some minor tweaks to help achieve them, we asked them to apply all their new knowledge to real life.
Six months on, we caught up with the three of them to see what they achieved and what they struggled with. Watch the video below to find out.
Filmed on location in The Haddington
Meet the experts ?
SINEAD RYAN AND SHALINI SINHA
Personal Finance Expert and Life Coach
Sinead worked in the financial services industry for 15 years before becoming a journalist focusing on consumer, property and personal finance issues. She is someone who ?walks the walk? in addition to ?talking the talk? and among some is considered the Queen of Mean! Her attitude to not getting ripped off, taking shops and utility providers to task and highlighting consumer problems means she's always on the lookout for value and good customer service.
Find out more about Sinead here.
Shalini was born in Canada of Indian immigrant parents and her heritage of yoga and enlightenment ideas shaped her mind from a young age. She gained her BA in Anthropology and Religious Studies, studying what she loves - human culture and how we reach our highest potential. After completing her MA in Women's Studies, she became a Certified Professional Coach. She also practices natural health.
Discover more about Shalini?here ?
Meet the women ?
37, oncology nurse, mother of two, saving for a house
At the moment, my main financial focus is saving for a home. My husband and I have been renting a beautiful home for seven years with our two small children and while we know we're ready to take the leap, the tone of surprise in people's voice when they discover we still don't own always'makes me wonder if we're being too picky.
The other thing is that I worry about planning too far ahead. As an oncology nurse I experience the worst moments in people's lives every day and I have seen plans crumble under the weight of life's realities. I am bubbly by nature and really like to live in the moment and embrace everything but I sometimes wonder if it holds me back from making such a big commitment to a home.
35, sales manager, mother of one, just built her dream home
In my twenties I was terrible saver but when my husband and I decided to build our own home four years ago, we became very dedicated. However, now that we've moved in, I'm worried about falling into old habits.
I want to start focusing on smaller financial savings goals, like improving upon our pension, buying a car and putting money aside for a family holiday but the motivation is lacking.?It's also complicated by the fact that I work in sales and receive a (hopefully!) large lump sum as a commission every six months, which is difficult to bank when I've already started dipping into my overdraft! I need to find a balance between continuing to save for smaller things while being able to enjoy my earnings.
56, owner of The Derma Clinic, mother of two adult children, ready to consolidate her long-term savings
My?two children have just fled the nest and, for the first time since my twenties, I have some surplus income. While I do feel I have earned some little luxuries, I also want to simplify my investments and ensure the business is taken care of, but I have no idea where to begin. I've been saving for so long I never thought about when I might need it!
I set up The Derma Clinic in 1990 and it has gone from strength to strength but ideally I'd like it to secure its longevity so I can take a small step back. I've recently started exercising regularly and I've realised I'd love to start taking more time to myself. I have a pension and a number of stocks and shares that I invested in long-term but with a mortgage on both the house and the business building, plus all the unforeseen expenses involved, I would like to be debt-free before transitioning into retirement.
Photography by Al Higgins, Videography by Tom Speers
To find out more about setting up a savings account with the savings specialists, RaboDirect visit RaboDirect.ie or call 1850 882 244