Does this sound familiar to you?

You put money into your savings account and you’re good for awhile.   Maybe you even contribute to it on a regular basis.

But then some unexpected expenses arise and you take money from your savings account.  (I call this dipping into the Piggy Bank.)  And the next thing you know, you’re withdrawing money on a regular basis until you’re back to Square One.

You might be wondering, how do I keep myself from dipping into my savings?  (I get this question a lot. You’re not alone!)

Here are 3 ways to Save Your Savings: 

Create a Fence.  Deposit your savings into an account that you are unable to touch for at least a few days.  It seems obvious but that’s probably why it gets overlooked so frequently. ING is an example of a savings account that requires a three-day delay before your money is returned to you.  Put your savings where you can’t easily touch it.  And while you’re at it, shop around for banks offering competitive interest rates. There aren’t many of them at the moment but they do exist.

Create a Clear Goal:    Get clear on what your savings will be used toward and by WHEN.  Make this goal exciting and relevant to you.   That way, when you’re tempted to dip into the Piggy Bank, you can remind yourself of exactly what the money is for.   This will put those day-to-day decisions back into perspective.    Even if you don’t have a goal yet, brainstorm how you COULD use your savings.

Create a Plan for the Unexpected:  Surprises happen.  If you must dip into the Piggy Bank, make a plan for how you will pay yourself back as quickly as possible.  View it as a one-time event before it becomes a regular habit.

These three steps will set you up for your success as you go about reaching your goals.

Try them out for yourself, and let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear from you… Write about it in the comments!