Tax season is over, but in Aroostook, we are hoping that integrating a new activity into our services will help the message of savings last well into next year!
This year we encouraged all of our tax filers to complete a savings goal, by writing down something they may be saving for, or want to save for, in the future. We used the image of a mason jar asking individuals to write in a personal savings goal. There were no real prompts, just let us know about something you want to save towards.
The activity got a great response with hundreds of filers agreeing to participate. All participants received a duplicate copy of their mason jar, with a magnetized backing, so they could post it on their refrigerator or some other location.
Goal Setting Works
Research and anecdotal information tells us that writing down goals increases the chances of achieving them significantly. The more specific you are, with action steps, dates for achieving the steps, and making sure that your goals are measurable, helps as well, but just the basic step of writing down a goal, can make a difference. Check out this article in Elite Daily that points out why!
Our goals ranged from saving for a new pair of glasses, to purchasing a home. We saw goals directed at paying down or off debt, saving for education, and planning for family vacations. No goal was too small or too big. When you have something to plan and look forward to, that can be motivating.
We encouraged filers to consider saving now. If savings seems impossible, why not consider starting with saving the money from your returnable cans and bottles? Just as goals cannot be too small or large, neither can the amount you start saving. In all cases, if someone was receiving a tax return, our hope was that saving even a small part of the return, might encourage the habit of continuing to save.