How to start saving as a group
Saving for something new can be tough, but having a joint savings goal can increase motivation — and be more fun.
5 min read
Reaching savings goals can take a long time, especially when you have ambitious targets. But saving as a group, whether with your friends, family, or a significant other can help you reach your goals quicker — and can be a whole lot more fun! Here’s how to navigate the perks and downsides of joint savings.
The perks of saving as a group
Trying to reach a savings goal as part of a group or a couple comes with a number of key perks. Here are a few of them to consider:
- Accountability. Having other people working with you toward your goal makes it more likely that you’ll stay on track. Relying on each other to reach your target can be deeply motivating.
- Speed. In many cases, saving as a group can mean you reach certain goals — such as paying for a shared item like a fridge, a new car, or even a pet — much quicker than if you were saving solo.
- Communication. Because saving as a group requires honest, open communication around the sometimes sticky topic of money, you may find that you learn how to communicate more effectively as an added bonus.
- Support. Sometimes, saving money can be hard. But if you’re going through the process with others, you’ve always got someone to give you emotional support as you work towards your goals together.
The downsides of joint savings
Despite all the perks, saving together isn’t necessarily a walk in the park. Before you decide to tackle your savings goals as a group, it’s also important to consider the potential risks:
- Trust. It’s vital that you only work towards a joint savings goal with people that you trust. If you can’t rely on the people you’re saving with, you’re putting both yourself and your money at risk.
- Conflict. No matter with whom you’re saving, there is always the potential for conflict to arise. Causes of this could include one member missing their savings target, someone feeling like they’re contributing an unfair amount, or poor communication around savings expectations. Most conflicts can be resolved with clear and honest communication, but be prepared to have some challenging conversations if necessary.
- Breaking up. Whether you’re saving in a romantic or platonic relationship, life can sometimes serve up some surprises. So, before you start saving as a group, it’s important to discuss what happens to the money you’ve saved if group relations break down before you reach your target.
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How to save as a group
Once you’ve weighed up the benefits and disadvantages of saving as a group and you’ve decided to go ahead, there are five important steps to keep in mind to give you the best chance of reaching your savings goal.
1. Choose your saving partners wisely
As we mentioned above, when planning to save as part of a group, it’s important that you choose your saving partners wisely. Only participate if you feel you can fully trust the other members, and that they’re reliable, supportive, and responsible with money. Avoid opening any joint bank accounts or taking out a loan or mortgage with anyone who has a poor credit rating or that you don’t trust, as this could have serious financial consequences for you if anything were to go wrong.
2. Choose the right goal
Next, it’s important to choose a savings goal that everyone in the group or couple wants to work towards. It has to be an objective that’s motivating enough for all parties involved, otherwise this could lead to conflict and not reaching the savings target. Some of the best goals to save towards as a group are fun, shared experiences such as holidays, day trips, or expensive concert tickets. The more exciting the experience, the higher the motivation is likely to be. And, as an added bonus, working toward the goal is a shared experience in itself that could strengthen your relationships.
3. Decide which goals to save for solo
While saving as a group comes with many perks, there are some goals that you should really save for on your own. These include getting out of debt, saving for your own emergency fund, and contributing to your pension. These types of savings goals are just too important to risk, especially if the relationship between you and your savings partner(s) dissolves. After all, making sure you’re debt-free, have a comfortable emergency fund, and make regular pension contributions are some of the three cornerstones of financial independence.
4. Set some ground rules
Before you start saving, it’s vital to settle upon how you’ll save. For example, will each member of the group be expected to contribute the same amount to the savings pot, or will the contribution amount vary depending on their income? Additionally, be sure to discuss how to avoid any judgement if, in addition to making their contribution to the sharing pot, a member of the group decides to splurge on something extravagant. And for your general savings, it’s also worth setting some rules around birthday and Christmas presents. For example, would you rather that any gift money within the group was contributed towards the savings goal, or would you still like to give each other presents?
5. Track your progress
As you start contributing towards your joint savings goal, tracking your progress is key to staying on target. Not only does it help to see if you’re hitting your milestones, but it provides a good opportunity for the group to discuss any problems with the savings process. Perhaps the contribution amount needs to be adjusted, the deadline extended, or the contribution frequency adjusted. By tracking progress regularly, your joint savings experience can be finely tuned to suit the needs of everyone in the group. It also gives you a chance to celebrate your milestones and successes, which we all need now and then!
Meet your joint savings goals with N26
Looking for the easiest way to save as a group? Then why not create a dedicated joint savings account with N26 where you can watch your group’s savings fund grow. N26’s Spaces sub-accounts allow you to create multiple savings accounts and set savings goals for each of them. Plus, as an online bank, N26 offers all the benefits of a budgeting tool, helping you smash your savings targets and get the most out of your money.
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